About Our Exhibition


March 26, 2018

UR Downtown opens new exhibition about the history of protest in Richmond.

The University of Richmond Downtown, located at 626 E. Broad St., is hosting a new exhibition titled “PROTEST! A Richmond History.” The exhibition will open as part of RVA First Fridays on April 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. and will run until September 1, 2018.

This exhibition surveys 26 protests throughout Richmond’s history, organized into five topics: Racial Justice, Gender and LGBTQ Rights, Economic Justice, War and Peace, and Whose History?. Spanning four centuries, the featured protests include Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech, the first Richmond gay rights rally, Black Lives Matter, and the March on Monument. Protest posters, buttons, vinyl records, clothing, photographs, and other artifacts will be on display throughout the exhibition.

Richmond is not often thought of as a city of protest; however, there is a long history of dissent that has defined and continues to shape our community. PROTEST! A Richmond History aims to capture this enduring history of protest and connect visitors to the way it has formed the diverse city that we live in today.

“Reflecting on protest from a historical perspective this semester has been powerful. It’s exciting to curate this exhibition for the wider community to engage with the same questions we’ve been wrestling with as students,” said American Studies major Shira Smillie, ‘18. “Who gets the right to protest? Where does protest happen? Why do you protest?”

UR Downtown’s Wilton Companies Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.blog.richmond.edu/rvaprotest.


PROTEST! A Richmond History was curated by University of Richmond students in the American Studies Seminar in spring 2018, under the guidance of Dr. Nicole Sackley, associate professor of history and American studies, and Alexandra Byrum, assistant director, communications and UR Downtown, Bonner Center for Civic Engagement.

This exhibition is made possible by the American Studies Program, UR Downtown, Boatwright Library, and the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement at the University of Richmond.


Daniela Amador, ’18

Chantel Baker, ’19

Alexandra Byrum

Savannah Etzler, ’19

Dom Harrington, ’19

Madeleine Jordan-Lord, ’18

Alyssa Joyce, ’19

Abigail Kaiser, ’18

Joe Kelly, ’18

Benjamin Pomerantz, ’19

Miranda Rosenblum, ’18

Nicole Sackley

Tucker Shelley, ’18

Shira Smillie, ’18