At the time of the Civil War, 53.3 percent of the residents of Charlottesville and Albemarle County were enslaved, an historical fact which remained little known until the 2016 work of the city’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Race, Memorials and Public Spaces (BRC). At the BRC’s recommendation, in 2017 the Charlottesville City Council proclaimed March 3 to be Liberation and Freedom Day. The celebration commemorates the March 3-6, 1865, arrival of Union cavalry in the area, when town and university officials surrendered at the current site of the UVA Chapel, and thousands of enslaved residents took the opportunity to escape and follow U.S. troops as they continued their advance toward Petersburg, Virginia.
Tuesday, March 1 – Sunday, March 6
Reparations Fun Run/Walk: This fun community event takes place March 1-6. We are raising funds to support the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center ‘s teacher training program, the NAACP’s Youth Council, Vinegar Hill Magazine‘s Black business advertising fund, PHAR, We Code Too, African American Teaching Fellows and 101.3 JAMZ. These organizations all have Black leadership and support the community directly. Our goal is $45,000 that will be divided amongst the seven organizations.
The run/walk’s 9.7 mile route lets you engage with some of the city’s important African American history. You will pass African American owned businesses along the way. Once registered, you can choose to run/walk this route anytime during the week. There is no fee to Register for the event but we hope you will make a donation in support after registration. Once you register you will receive an email with information on how you can hold your own fundraiser and encourage others to help you meet a donation goal. If you are not the outdoorsy type but want to donate, go ahead and register anyway.
Thursday, March 3,
Road to Liberation: Education & Civic Mobilization, 6-7 pm
Dr. Andrea Douglas and Dr. Jalane Schmidt will discuss her forthcoming book that among other things considers Charlottesville’s Civil War and Reconstruction history. In her chapter on the Civil War Dr. Schmidt discusses James T.S. Taylor and other local Black men who fought in the US Colored Troops. She will offer a history, which presents the perspective of the African American population as they experienced the end of the war. This is a virtual presentation. Watch on FaceBook or our YouTube channel.
Saturday, March 5
Swords Into Plowshares Community Engagement Kick-Off, 3-4pm
Join us in the JSAAHC auditorium to kick-off the Swords into Plowshares Community Engagement process. Let your voice be heard about the values that should dictate what adorns Charlottesville’s public spaces. Our community engagement process will be led by community ambassadors who will facilitate our understanding of what are considered welcoming spaces in our community. Come and learn how to participate. For more information about Swords into Plowshares (SIP) go to www.sipcville.com. Register for the public event now. Please note masks and proof of vaccinations are required for this event. Watch on our Facebook and YouTube channel.
Picturing Climate Justice, 6pm
Exhibition dates: March 5-May 28, 2022
Picturing Climate Justice provides a window into local actions to promote climate justice and aspires to broaden local resident engagement in ongoing advocacy work. In 2021, local groups, including the Community Climate Collaborative (C3), Cultivate Charlottesville, Wildrock, and the UVA School of Architecture Project Pipeline Youth Design Mentorship Program collaborated with the UVA Equity Center Democratization of Data Initiative to engage youth in a number of activities represented in this exhibit. Photographs, artwork, and poetry from these activities are presented alongside interactive data tools to shed light on the nature of climate injustice in our region. The exhibit also offers visions for a more just regional response to climate change and opens to observers to contribute their knowledges in various arenas, inviting us all into the work of climate justice.
Masks are required when visiting JSAAHC.
All Liberation and Freedom Day events are free and open to the public.