Students and members of the Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA at the Memorial for Enslaved Laborers

Curriculum in race, place, and equity

The Mellon RPE program supports curriculum development that fosters nuanced understanding of the intersections of race, place, and equity. A series of Advising Seminars in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Architecture introduce first-year students at UVA to local, place-based histories and legacies that have shaped the University and Central Virginia. Three-credit courses featuring community partnerships and place-based, community-engaged teaching help build an outward looking, public-service university. Additionally, a series of short educational videos will highlight aspects of UVA’s historical racial legacy and current cultural landscape.

These courses and related programs are co-created with community partners from the Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA, the Monacan Indian Nation, Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, and the Montpelier Descendants Committee. A foundational premise of the grant is that university faculty, staff, and students work with community partners in a reciprocal manner to further the equity-based missions of community groups, and provide UVA students with a variety of perspectives, expertise, and lived experiences. The aim is to help prepare students for a lifetime of community engagement and responsible citizenship.

Photo credit: Catherine Walden