As preparations begin for the University’s 200th anniversary in 2019, UVA hosted a national symposium on Grounds in October titled “Universities Confronting the Legacy of Slavery.” The conference brought together experts from UVA, the local community and representatives from Brown University, Emory University, the College of William and Mary and the University of Alabama to discuss issues related to the history of slavery at these institutions.

“If we want the bicentennial commemoration to tell the true and complete story of UVA’s past 200 years—and we do—it must include appropriate recognition of the historical role of slavery and enslaved persons at the University,” UVA President Teresa Sullivan said during one of the symposium’s events.

Last year, Sullivan appointed the Commission on Slavery and the University, charging the group to explore UVA’s history and highlight opportunities for recognition and commemoration of enslaved people. A brief documentary film, Unearthed and Understood: Slavery at the University of Virginia, debuted at the symposium. It details the commission’s work and can be watched below or at