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Virginia Black Public History Institute

The Descendants Workshop 2021

In summer 2021, the VAACR Task Force partnered with acclaimed preservation architect and Saving Slave Houses founder Jobie Hill to pilot the Virginia Black Public History Institute. Entitled The Descendants Workshop, this first of its kind, hybrid virtual/in-person workshop series brought together a multigenerational group of slavery descendants from five Virginia historical sites, along with student research assistants from Norfolk State University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia State University, and leading innovators in Black Public History. For 12 weeks, participants engaged in collaborative place- and project-based learning and co-research.

The Virginia Black Public History Institute ultimately seeks to promote equitable preservation and co-stewardship of Black ancestral sites statewide by equipping descendant communities with cutting-edge scholarship, tools and resources, and a national support network. With the success of the 2021 pilot, the VAACR Task Force is excited to host future institutes as funding allows. Stay tuned for more information.