Elisa Davila UDARI/Internship Update

Posted on July 14, 2021 at: 10:08 am

What have I Done so Far?

Throughout this internship, I have worked with the Archives at the University and collected real estate records from the University. I have also done extensive research on roughly 40 other universities and colleges with Anti-Racism Initiatives, Institutes, or Projects. Since the University of Delaware recently joined the UVA Studying Slavery Constortium, I pulled several colleges from this list to see what we could implement, or to find what UDARI could do better in terms of our website and community engagement. In addition to this, I have also been researching grants that we can apply for to support UDARI through its beginning stages.

Findings from Other Universities and What we can Implement:

From the research conducted of close to 40 schools, there are several aspects that we can implement to improve the UDARI website to better reach the UD community. There are also aspects that we could implement that go beyond our website.

  1. Annual Report:

There were several schools that compiled an annual report to easily demonstrate their findings. I thought Elon University did the best.

This is the front of their report which is set up like a booklet. It is very easy to flip through, but you can also download it as a pdf.


This is the inside of the booklet. Since COVID, we have had less of an on campus presence, so being able to present this report as a booklet that could be held if we were in person, is both organized and beneficial.


From the research we collect this year, the real estate documents, the history of Black students at UD, and other research we compile, creating a booklet like this could be very beneficial.

i.  Also, even though this booklet would be a report of what we have accomplished, having a recommendations section, Elon, would be great. Since this will be more accessible to the community, individuals will be curious on what we are doing to combat our racist past.

          2. Dedicating an Exhibit to the first Black students at UD or the Enslaved Laborers:

Something I found many schools doing was creating something to honor their Black students who were the first to join their institution. This would cost money, but I think creating something this big that would honor these students while also holding UD accountable for its racist past, would be a great idea.

UVA has commissioned an outdoor monument to honor the enslaved laborers who helped build their campus. This is a huge project, and maybe one that UD is not up to doing, but creating something like this on a smaller scale would be a great way to honor the first UD Black undergrad students.
This is another look at what they are creating.


          3.Saying Their Names:

a. Similar to the project above that acknowledges the enslaved laborers on UVA’s campus, having a section on our website referred to as “Saying Their Names” as a way to remind the community of the significant individuals who worked for what we have now at UD. This could be Black workers in a segregated UD or the first decade of Black students allowed on campus.

On Ole Miss’ website, they have a section dedicated to “Saying Their Names.” It looks like this and when you click on their name, it goes to their story and their importance to the overall history of Ole Miss.
This is what it looks like when you click on one of their names from the “Saying Their Names” project from Ole Miss’ website.


        4. Oral Histories Project:

The University of Richmond had an Oral Histories project where they met with POC alumni and faculty/staff who shared their experiences at UR. The way they formatted the page was very organized where each oral history subject has their picture and you can click on it to learn more about what they spoke about.

The Oral Histories project at UR is a project that speaks to alumni and faculty/staff at UR who share their experiences of being POC at the University. I know UDARI is planning to do this with the founding chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, and I thought the way UR formatted it on their website was great.

Here is an example of what one of the pages looks like if you click here.


       5. Having a Page for Meeting Minutes and Video Archive

On several of the University pages they would update minute meetings and if the meeting was on zoom, have a video archive from the meeting. Implementing something like this on our page could be beneficial to make sure the UD community has access to all of the meetings that do happen within UDARI.

On the Wake Forest page, they have an Archives drop down so you can locate their archived meetings and other events. Having something like this would allow the community to have access to meetings they missed, or didn’t know about.


       6. Implementing a Committee and Committee Members Page

On several of the University pages, the committees and committee members were consolidated into one part of their website. On our website, they are all on the left hand side, which looks a bit busy to read. Specifically, under the “About Us” page, I think it should just be the three chairs of the Initiative and then another section should state “Committees and Committee Members” as its own page.

On Elon University’s website, they have a committee on Elon History and Memory, which is the name of their project. With the drop down menu, there are minutes and members which are on a separate page than their “About Us” or “Background” section. We could implement both a members and minutes section, or if we do not want to do minutes, just a section to list the committees.


          7. UVA Studying Slavery Constortium (Having docs available on our website):

a. Since we recently joined the Studying Slavery Constortium, we should have a tab on our website dedicated to this. On this tab, we could include the historical figures that we find from the real estate records.

b. We could also include the documents we analyze from the archives that have significance to the history of enslavement at UD.  At Georgetown University, they post all of their archives online that pertain to their history of enslavement.

At Georgetown, they have a collections section on their website that has the archives available that are related to their history of enslavement.

Something else I noticed while doing research was that many of the universities involved in the studying slavery constortium, was that these are more projects, rather than initaitves or institutes. These projects that they have created, are a part of their anti-racist rhetoric and activim.

i.  Some examples include: Georgetown University, Elon University, Wake Forest, UVA, and University of Richmond.

ii.  Some of these schools also have resources under their Diversity and Inclusion sections of their universities in addition to the work they are doing with the studying slavery constortium.

        8. Library Collections Section:

a. On the University of South Carolina’s website, they have a collections section of their archives that they find meaningful to share with the community.

On the University of South Carolina’s website, this is what their digital collections look like. They have scanned the documents and when you search in the search engine, you are able to select the document.


Grants that UDARI can Apply For/Look into:

  1. Lumina
  2. Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
  3. Spencer Foundation
  4. NEA Human and Civil Rights Department
  5. William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
    2. Confusing on what is available and what is not available with this one. There are a ton of grants that have already been awarded.
  6. Henry Luce Foundation