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Wake Forest University Slavery, Race, and Memory Project

About the Slavery, Race and Memory Project (Wake Forest University)

Wake Forest University, as a southern institution founded decades before the Civil War, has a history bound up with slavery and its tragic legacies. Attempts to recover, understand and reckon more fully with that complex past have accelerated in recent years and are collected in a many-faceted Slavery, Race, and Memory Project. This effort extends across and beyond our Winston-Salem and original Wake Forest, N.C., campuses and includes active membership in the Universities Studying Slavery consortium.

Wake Forest University joined the Universities Studying Slavery consortium to help us understand and acknowledge the role enslaved peoples had in building and growing our University. The “Slavery, Race and Memory Project” will guide the research, preservation, and communication of an accurate depiction of the University’s relationship to slavery and its implications across Wake Forest’s history.

This guide provides access to primary and secondary materials for anyone working on these issues. It is actively being revised and resources added, so if you have suggestions, please send them along!

Grant Funding

The Slavery, Race, and Memory Project is a project designed to guide the research, preservation, and communication accurately depicting the institution of slavery in the United States, and the University’s relationship to slavery and its implications across WFU’s history. The aim is to learn from the full truth of our past, take action to address past and present inequities in our community, and make our learnings available to other institutions and the public. The project aspires to be an intensive and sustained effort involving a series of conferences, public conversations, national speakers, artistic and cultural performances.

Categories include:

Faculty Course Enhancement
Campus-Wide Engagement

Guidelines are available here.

Steering Committee Charge

The Steering Committee of the Project will:

  1. Develop a mission statement for the Project;
  2. Coordinate the University’s work as a member of the Universities Studying Slavery Consortium; and
  3. Develop and implement an academically-centered approach to examining the history of slavery and its implications at Wake Forest, both on the original campus and here in Winston-Salem.

This approach may include planning scholarly lectures and symposia and devising a faculty/student engagement strategy that involves course development and supervision of relevant student research.

Steering Committee members will chair or co-chair subcommittees useful to carrying out this charge. The Steering Committee shall be a body representative of both the University and Winston-Salem communities.

Director, Special Collections & Archives

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Tanya Zanish-Belcher
Director, Special Collections & Archives
Liaison-Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
Rm. 625, PO Box 7777
Z. Smith Reynolds Library
Winston-Salem, NC
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