The Modern Day Struggle for Racial Equality: Slavery is fundamental to the American story. Monticello is simultaneously a place to remember, a place to mourn, and a place to inspire change. How can Monticello's duality --the pain and beauty of one of America's best studied and preserved plantations -- advance a national dialogue? What is the role of cultural monuments and sites in helping Americans learn from the past? Activists, cultural leaders, and policymakers -- Skip Gates, Bree Newsome, Jamelle Bouie, Melody Barnes and Jon Meacham -- discuss next steps in the struggle.

The Monticello Summit was the capstone event of Human/Ties, a four-day celebration of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ 50th anniversary, organized by NEH and the University of Virginia. All programming was free and open to the public. Additional details are available on On September 17th, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello hosted a public summit on “Memory, Mourning, Mobilization: Legacies of Slavery and Freedom in America.” Historians, descendants of those enslaved at Monticello, cultural leaders, and activists engaged in a far-ranging dialogue on the history of slavery and its meaning in today’s conversations on race, freedom, and equality. The summit was rooted in the power of place at Monticello – now a United Nations World Heritage Site and National Historic Landmark, once home to Thomas Jefferson, his family, and hundreds of enslaved men, women, and children.

For decades, Monticello historians and archaeologists have studied the oral, documentary, and material histories of enslaved families and their descendants – chronicling their challenges and triumphs, and adding an essential human dimension to the study of slavery. With these stories at the forefront, Monticello served as a poignant setting to remember, mourn, and mobilize for equality.