The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has granted the College of William & Mary $1 million to research the history of slavery and racism within the university community, according to the Washington Post.
The five-year project is part of the Lemon Project, a school initiative to amend past wrongdoings against African-Americans. Research will focus on the university’s slavery legacy as well as at James Monroe’s Highland, former estate of the U.S. president.
As part of the research, an oral history project will be created to document the untold stories of descendants of the enslaved men and women who built and preserved the campus. Additionally, there will be a university-wide course to promote inclusion and civil discourse.
The grant “supports William & Mary’s commitment to partnering with our wider region and communities to illuminate our shared history,” university president Dr. Katherine A. Rowe said in a statement. “By sharing authority to re-interpret the past with descendants of those who lived and were enslaved at Highland, we are taking a new approach to how we tell that history. We believe we will be able to tell a fuller story this way, and one with more consequence, today.”