Media Contact: Andrea Douglas
The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center hosts first Liberation and Freedom Days Reparations Run/Walk
(For Immediate Release, Charlottesville, VA) The Jefferson School African American Heritage in collaboration with the Liberation and Freedom Days planning committee, announces the first annual Reparations Run/Walk to be held March 1-6, 2021. The event’s near nine-mile course causes participants to engage with monuments and site that suggest local African American history. The course also includes five restaurants owned by African Americans.
The event is a fundraiser to support six organizations led by African Americans that support the whole community through their direct services. Organizers hope to raise $45,000 to be divided equally to support 101.3 Jamz, African American Teaching Fellows, Albemarle Charlottesville NAACP’s Youth Council, Jefferson School African American Heritage Center’s teacher training program, The Vinegar Hill Black business advertising fund, and We Code Too.
Andrea Douglas executive director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center explains “our use of the word reparations may be off-putting to some however, our intention is to call attention to the unknown stories in our community and support businesses that are not on the typical tourist circuit.” Douglas further asserts that the organizations to be funded were chosen because they represent important components of community—the media and our youth. The first because these organizations diversify our communal narrative and the latter because our youth represent our community’s future.”
Liberation and Freedom Days recognizes the fact that 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; Albemarle County began to recognize the day one year later. The Liberation and Freedom Days 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.
Information about run/walk can be found at: https://runsignup.com/Race/VA/ Charlottesville/LiberationandFreedomDaysReparation6mileRunWalk