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 Interim Provost Love, on October 22, 2020, 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.

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The Task Force's Charge

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

The Task Force developed 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 Report

The Task Force submitted its full report to President Fenves on April 1, 2021, and made available an executive summary to the community.

Read the Executive Summary  Read the Emory News Center Story

Community Feedback


Task Force Membership


Anandhi BharadwajVice Dean for Faculty and Research; Goizueta Endowed Chair in Electronic Commerce and Professor of Information Systems, Operations Management, Goizueta Business School
Mary DudziakAsa Griggs Candler Professor of Law, Emory School of Law
Gregory Ellison II 99C
Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Candler School of Theology
Eugene EmoryProfessor of Psychology, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
Deborah Lipstadt
Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
Molly McGehee 07PhD
Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Director of the Oxford Center for Teaching and Scholarship, and Associate Professor of English and American Studies, Oxford College
Megan E. O'Neil
Assistant Professor and Faculty Curator, Art of the Americas, Michael C. Carlos Museum
Alyasah A. Sewell
Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
Kylie Smith
Associate Professor and Andrew W. Mellon Faculty Fellow for Nursing and the Humanities, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Shakira Suglia
Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health
Jason WardProfessor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, Emory College of Arts and Sciences
Craig Womack
Associate Professor, Department of English, Emory College of Arts and Sciences

Zakiya Collier 21C
Emory College
Michael Griffin 21PH
Public Health
Preye Jituboh 21C
Emory College
Riya Kalra 19Ox 21B
Astria Wilson 21T

Darlene BerryExecutive Administrative Assistant, Office of the Provost; Administrative Support
Melissa DalyAssistant Vice Provost and Chief of Staff; Liaison to Office of the Provost
John Leach
Associate Vice Provost for University Financial Aid
Matthew PinsonAssistant Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Senior Vice President for Advancement and Alumni Engagement
Anjulet Tucker 00C 09PhDDirector of Presidential Initiatives and Special Projects, Office of the President; Liaison to Office of the President

Sue Haupert-Johnson 95TTrustee
Carol Henderson
Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Chief Diversity Officer, and Adviser to the President
Douglas A. Hicks
Dean, Oxford College

Avis Williams 78Ox 98C 08T 18T

Next Steps for Summer/Fall 2021

In a letter to the community on June 28, President Fenves announced the formation of a Twin Memorials Working Group comprising Emory leadership, faculty, staff, and students. The Working Group will develop a “Request for Proposals” for planning the memorials and circulate this request with architectural firms. It also will lead efforts to memorialize Emory’s enslaved laborers through a variety of means.