Resistance & Compliance

During the Fall 2017 semester, 15 students took RHCS 412 Digital Memory & the Archive, a course exploring the intersections of history, memory, and archival research into UR history. The final project for this course was a team effort to use archival materials and other resources to craft a narrative related to the Race & Racism at the University of Richmond Project. Using archival materials, Collin Kavanaugh, Julia Marcellino, and Destiny Riley created a digital exhibit exploring the reactions of University of Richmond students and administration to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They asked difficult questions about what compliance with federal legislation looked like, how the University reacted to integration, and how modern day issues around diversity and inclusion play out at the university today. In their own words:

Even today, through looking at the outreach that the University distributes to their prospective students, it seems as though they are projecting an image that does not necessarily reflect the current student body. In an article boasting that the incoming class of 2021 is the most diverse class yet, the University uses a photo that depicts four students, although the two minority students are not students of the class of 2021, but are actually part of the class of 2019. It would seem as though the University is continuing to have a strong disconnect between the projection of their student body and the actual make-up of the student body. 

Collin Kavanaugh is a senior from East Hampton, New York, majoring in Leadership Studies at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies.  Julia Marcellino is a senior from Berwyn, Pennsylvania, majoring in Rhetoric and Communication Studies and Dance, and minoring in Business Administration. Destiny Riley is a junior from Maumelle, Arkansas, majoring in Rhetoric & Communication Studies and double minoring in Sociology and American Studies.

Click here to check out their exhibit “Resistance & Complaince” on

This Week in the Archive: The Search for True Equality

by Julia Marcellino 

Julia Marcellino is a senior from Berwyn, Pennsylvania, majoring in Rhetoric and Communication Studies and Dance, and minoring in Business Administration. She believes that this project has been a great opportunity for her to to further her analysis and research skills while looking into a history that is still very relevant today. The most interesting part of this project for her was how some of the sentiments and viewpoints of certain people in the 1960’s still resonate with situations that we are dealing with today. This post was written as a part of Digital Memory & the Archive, a course offered in Fall 2017.

On March 17, 1972, the University of Richmond sent out a notice in the Collegian, informing their students about one of several racial awareness sessions that they were holding along with the Virginia Union University. Through further investigation, it seems as though racial awareness sessions were a common occurrence at that time period, in an effort to address and ultimately attempt to squash racism within different organizations (Twine & Blee, Feminism and Antiracism: Inernational Struggles for Justice, 2001, 125). The Collegian’s post interviewed Betty Hamlet, head of the University of Richmond committee, who described the sessions’ purpose as “[trying] to understand where the others are coming from…you try to imagine what it’s like to be a black woman or a black guy.” Trying to put themselves into someone else’s shoes, instead of recognizing that their shoes are the same. While at the surface this seems like something that would promote equality and trust, it seems like something that promotes tolerance, but not necessarily equality.

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