The south end of the UVA Lawn at night

Slavery at the University of Virginia

Date & Time

January 27, 2015 @ 6-8pm


Jefferson School African American Heritage Center



The President’s Commission on Slavery and the University was established September 2013 with the charge to provide advice and recommendations on the commemoration of the University of Virginia’s historical relationship with slavery. The enslaved played vital roles in U.Va.’s history. They cleared the fields, shaped the Grounds, made and laid brick, chopped wood, washed laundry, cooked and cared for students, faculty and their families. There were many contributions by the enslaved in building the University.

6 – 6:30 pm

Documentary and Panel Discussion
6:30 – 8 pm

This program will begin with a reception followed by the viewing of the documentary Unearthed & Understood: Slavery and the University of Virginia by Eduardo Montes-Bradley. Join the dialogue as members of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University (PCSU) led by co-chairs Marcus Martin and Kirt von Daacke give an overview of the mission, vision and current research. Panelists will include Maurie McInnis, Kelley Deetz and Petrina Jackson. Join some of U.Va.’s great minds on their journey to learn more about the unsung people who helped create one of the nation’s best universities.

This event is made possible by the University of Virginia Office for Diversity & Equity and Lifetime Learning.


Marcus Martin

Vice President and Chief Officer, Diversity and Equity; Former Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Marcus L. Martin is Professor and past chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Virginia. He held the chair position from July 1996 to December 2006.  Dr. Martin’s Emergency Medicine responsibilities included the adult and pediatric emergency departments, chest pain unit, express care, Pegasus air ambulance, the Blue Ridge Poison Center, paramedic training program, emergency medicine residency program and several emergency medicine fellowship programs. During his tenure at U.Va. Dr. Martin served as Assistant Dean, School of Medicine, Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Equity and Associate Vice President for Diversity and Equity. On July 25, 2009, Dr. Martin was appointed Interim Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity and on April 1, 2011 Dr. Martin was appointed Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity.

Kirt von Daacke

Associate Professor and Assistant Dean, History, Arts & Sciences

Kirt von Daacke’s research centers upon social constructions of race, community social hierarchies, and identity in eighteenth and nineteenth century America. He is especially fascinated with studying the complex interplay of race and culture in the antebellum South. His first book, Freedom Has a Face: Race, Identity, and Community in Jefferson’s Albemarle, 1780-1865, came out with the University of Virginia Press in 2012. He is currently working on “Jefferson’s University: The Early Life Project,” a major digital humanities project that he co-founded with art history professor Maurie McInnis. The project will create a comprehensive digital archive of early University records, will track persons, places, and events over time in the Academical Village, and ultimately include a 3-D recreation of central Grounds before the Civil War. Additionally, He’s very excited to be co-chairing the UVa President’s Commission on Slavery and the University. Those scholarly interests grew out of his experience as an undergraduate history major here at the University of Virginia and his time in graduate school at The Johns Hopkins University, where so many of his professors challenged and inspired him as a thinker and scholar both inside and outside the classroom.

Kelly Deetz

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, President’s Commission on Slavery and the University

Kelley Deetz’s scholarship and teaching focus on constructions of race, identity, culture, public narratives, and histories within the African Diaspora. She specializes in nineteenth-century African American culture, African Diaspora archaeology, and public history (tourism, memorials, and memory). Deetz is currently working on a manuscript entitled “Bound to the Fire: Virginia’s Enslaved Cooks and their Kitchens”, and her forthcoming chapter “Stolen Bodies, Edible Memories: The Influence and Function of West African Foodways in the Early British Atlantic” is due for publication this October. Deetz holds a B.A. in Black Studies from The College of William and Mary, as well as a M.A. in African American Studies and Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California at Berkeley.

Petrina Jackson

Head of Instruction and Outreach, Albert and Shirley Small Collections Library

Petrina Jackson joined the staff of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library as Head of Instruction and Outreach in June 2008. She is a member of the President’s Commission on Slavery at the University.

Jackson’s responsibilities center on developing and delivering a broad range of instructional programs using the library’s holdings of rare books, manuscripts, and cultural artifacts to enrich the teaching and learning experiences of faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students. She also designed and teaches a first-year seminar, “Researching History” and will curate a Special Collections exhibition this summer, My Own Master: Resistance to American Slavery.

From 2002 to 2008, Jackson worked at the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections at Cornell University Library, where she served as senior assistant archivist.  In this capacity, she fulfilled various outreach roles. Before that, she taught English at Elgin Community College in Elgin, Illinois for 7 years. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Iowa State University and a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Maurie McInnis

Vice Provost, Academic Affairs; Professor, American Art History, Arts & Sciences

Maurie McInnis is Professor of Art History and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at the University of Virginia. Her research focuses on the cultural history of American Art in the colonial and antebellum South, with a particular focus on slavery. She is the author or co-author of four books that have won six books awards and she has consulted with museums and historic properties. Her most recent book focused on the politics of representing the South and slavery; Slaves Waiting for Sale: Abolitionist Art and the American Slave Trade (University of Chicago in 2011) was awarded the Charles C. Eldredge Book Prize from the Smithsonian American Art Museum for outstanding scholarship in American Art and the Library of Virginia Literary Award for non-fiction. Currently, she served as the curator for “To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade,” at the Library of Virginia (Oct. 27, 2014-May 30, 2015) and serves as co-lead for the project: “Jefferson’s University: the early life project,” a digital history project focused on the first fifty years of the university’s history and that is helping to uncover the history of slavery at U.Va.