Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations

The Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations (Task Force) was established in 2019 following the discovery of disturbing images in Emory yearbooksCharged by President Claire E. Sterk and Provost Dwight A. McBride with reflecting on potential approaches, strategies, and forums for examining Emory's complex history and its relationship to the university's vision for its future, the Task Force met throughout the fall 2019 semester and submitted its report in spring 2020.

In response to renewed calls from the Emory community to reevaluate its founding narratives, President Fenves and Provost Love reappointed and recharged the Task Force with focusing its scope on telling the story of Emory's past with specific attention to two disenfranchised populations—the enslaved persons with ties to Emory and Indigenous peoples on whose land Emory's campus was erected.

The Task Force's charge

Serving in an advisory capacity to the president, the Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations is charged with reviewing opportunities for recognizing, observing, and memorializing the contributions of disenfranchised populations to Emory University.

The committee is tasked with developing recommendations for:

  • honoring enslaved persons whose labor contributed to the construction of Emory College;
  • awarding scholarships to attend Emory to descendants of the enslaved persons whose labor contributed to the founding and operation of Emory College, with preference for undergraduate scholarships;
  • memorializing Indigenous peoples who previously lived on land now owned by Emory; and
  • expanding existing curricular offerings focused on the legacies of slavery and Indigenous populations.

Task Force co-chairs

Paul Root Wolpe

Task Force Co-Chair and Director, Emory Center for Ethics

More about Director Wolpe
Yolanda Cooper

Task Force Co-Chair and Dean and University Librarian

More about Dean Cooper

A complete list of Task Force members will be posted here once finalized.


The Task Force is expected to submit its findings and recommendations to President Fenves by April 1, 2021.

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