UCARE Releases Report on Race Relations at UVa., Receives Grant

A university-community group is addressing the roles slavery and segregation played at the University of Virginia.

Members of the University and Community Action for Racial Equity (UCARE) executive committee gathered at the rotunda today to announce the release of the report that looks at the university's history of slavery, segregation and discrimination.

But it isn't just about reflecting on race relations. It's about repairing them, too.

"We have a long way to go in terms of addressing the history of slavery and racism at the University of Virginia and how it impacts us today," said associate professor Walter Heinecke. "That it's not just a historical issue, but it's an issue that continues to plague us today until we actually address that history."

One of the concerns highlighted in the report is bridging the gap between the university and the Charlottesville community.

"It's something that, as a student, you don't really think about a lot because your community is the school more than it is the actual, authentic community that's here in Charlottesville," said third year student and UCARE member Dylan Hoos.

The group hopes to help mend race relations with a two-year, six-figure grant from the Andrus Family Fund.

The group will use that $148,000 to bring more local African-American students on grounds to help prep for college and to support a proposed memorial for enslaved workers, among other things.

"It's hard to say that the past is not important when you're standing on the grounds of the University of Virginia," said UCARE Project Director Frank Dukes. "We relish the past. We look at the past. But we have to relish all those elements of the past. And also see the way they continue to impact us today."

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