The University of Virginia President’s Commission on the University in the Age of Segregation (PCUAS) was founded in 2018 by President Teresa Sullivan. She formed the commission to “explore and report on UVA’s role in the period of racial segregation that occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries.”
She noted that “As with many universities and many states at the time, UVA and the Commonwealth of Virginia were involved in segregation and other practices related to racial inequality.” As the flagship state university in Virginia, more fully understanding the school’s role in that history is vital if we are to grow in the twenty-first century as a training ground for engaged future citizen-leaders who make the world more equitable and inclusive.
President Sullivan additionally stated that “Virginia was the epicenter of the ‘Massive Resistance’ movement in the 1950s that sought to oppose public school desegregation…During this period, public schools here in Charlottesville were closed to prevent desegregation, although the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals eventually overturned the closings.”
The commission looks forward to answering President Sullivan’s call and working with President Ryan as we conduct research, acknowledge our difficult past, atone, and continue to engage with the community.