A Gala Honoring Descendants in Coffield Refectory

Date: September 2, 2022

In June, the Office of Multicultural Ministries, in partnership with the Office of the Dean and President, hosted a formal gala honoring the descendants of the Reparations Program. The evening included live music, a short program, and a striking display of the historical and genealogical research uncovered thus far. In attendance were over 200 descendants from the twelve major Black families of Alexandria, all of whose ancestors labored at the Seminary.

Displayed throughout Scott Lounge were the family trees for each family present, as well as a timeline displaying the history of nearly 100 years of Black labor at Virginia Seminary. In addition to being incredibly moving, these visual illustrations of the research highlighted just how integral Alexandria’s Black communities were to the history of the Seminary.

Following the gala, each descendant received copies of the family trees and historical timeline, along with a brief “Thank You” video recap of the evening. Linked below is that video. I hope that as you watch and listen, you might take a moment to reflect on the journey- the joys, sorrows, sacrifices, and triumphs- of those named.

Ebonee Davis
Associate for Programming & Historical Research for Reparations
Office of Multicultural Ministries

Back to all