The Memorial to Enslaved Laborers
The University of Virginia is paying tribute to all the enslaved men, women, and children (mainly of African American descent) who built, worked, and lived at the university during the 1800's, from the start of the construction of the lawn in 1817 through the end of the Civil War in 1865. It is important to address the complex history of UVA and the Charlottesville community during that time. By creating a physical space for remembrance, the design team plans for it to be a place of learning, as well as a place of healing, hoping to shed some light on the difficult and controversial past of The University of Virginia.
In 2020, the University of Virginia, Memorial to Enslaved Laborers was completed on the Lawn, just east of the Rotunda. It honors the lives of between 4,500 to 5,000 enslaved people who built, lived and worked at UVA from 1817 until 1866.
For more information about the MEL, please visit the website below: