Photos by Eze Amos.
Photos courtesy of University of Virginia Law Library


In May 2020, faculty, student, and community activists called for concrete and immediate action towards racial equity at the University of Virginia following the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. UVA President Jim Ryan asked the Racial Equity Task Force to create thoughtful and bold recommendations for racial equity at the University in response.

But thoughtful and bold recommendations already exist.

The calls to action made by students, faculty, and community members through protests, petitions, and working groups represent decades spent on this very task. To credit those activists and to contextualize the present moment, we collected 50 years of documents addressing racial inequity at the University of Virginia written by students, faculty, staff, and working groups, analyzed them for common themes, and created an interactive library format to share our findings and start a conversation.


This is a living, breathing work. We know there are other documents that should be preserved alongside the ones we currently have in our records. If you would like to contribute, please do partner with us to make this a more inclusive and accurate historical record. If there are additional documents you believe should be reviewed, please email us a link or a copy of the document at

We recognize that this is the start of a conversation so let's continue it beyond this website. Tweet us @EquityCenterUVA #VoicesForEquity with reactions, key takeaways, or any questions about the project. Or reach us through email -- -- to share your insights and thoughts. And stay tuned for the recommendations released by the Racial Equity Task Force. We will use this website to document their recommendations and keep the University accountable in its subsequent response.

Photo by Eze Amos
Demands for Equity Logp

Explore the Interactive Timeline

Image of Streams diagram showing demands over time

Examine Trends through our Analyses

UVA Equity Center Logo with three vertical bars

Learn About the Project


While not an exhaustive list, the works below provide a fuller picture of the historically-rooted movement for racial equity at UVA.

  • Harold, C. N., and Nelson, L. P. (Eds.). (2018). Charlottesville 2017: The legacy of race and inequity. University of Virginia Press.
  • Harold, C. N. (2012). Of the Wings of Atalanta: The struggle for African American Studies at the University of Virginia, 1969–1995. Journal of African American Studies, 16(1), 41-69.
  • Heinecke, W. F., Cole, R., Han, I., Mthethwa, N. (2016). Student activism as civic engagement: Challenging institutional conditions for civic leadership at University of Virginia. In K. M. Soria and T. D. Mitchell (Eds.), Civic engagement and community service at research universities (pp. 219-239). Palgrave Macmillan.
  • UCARE: University and Community Action for Racial Equity
  • Harold, C. N. (Producer) & Everson, K. J. (Director). (2014). Sugarcoated arsenic [Film]. Trilobite-Arts-DAC.
  • Harold, C. N. (Producer) & Everson, K. J. (Director). (2016). We demand [Film].
  • Turner, J. A. (2010). Sitting in and speaking out: student movements in the American South, 1960-1970. University of Georgia Press.

For an extended reading list on college student activism and historical inequities in higher education, click here