Membership

We are pleased to announce our new DEC-UVA Portal! Click the button below to sign up for an account then apply for membership.

New users are prompted to "Create account" and will receive a confirmation email with further instructions. Returning users who have difficulty with their account can reset their password by clicking "Having trouble logging in?" on the DEC-UVA Portal landing page.

Membership Criteria

Descendant Membership Criteria:

To be considered a Descendant of the Enslaved Communities at the University of Virginia, an individual must satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • Be a documented direct descendant of a person enslaved at an estate/property owned by the University of Virginia, hired out to the University, or enslaved or hired out by associated staff/faculty between 1809-1865. Documented is defined as a demonstrable connection through traditional genealogical research and/or DNA match.

  • Be a documented direct descendant of a person enslaved by the men that founded the University of Virginia between 1809-1865, including but not limited to: Thomas Jefferson, Joseph Carrington Cabell, James Madison, John Hartwell Cocke, and James Monroe.

  • Be a documented direct descendant of a person enslaved on an estate or property owned by University of Virginia from1809-1865, or any plantation or other site of enslavement that is currently owned or operated by the University of Virginia. This list includes, but is not limited to: Birdwood, Morven, Morea, Blandey Experimental Farm and additional sites vetted by the Descendant of the Enslaved Communities Leadership Group.

  • Be a documented direct descendant of a free African American person hired to work at UVA between 1809 and the end of Reconstruction.

  • Have credible oral history suggesting your family descends from any of the above persons between 1809 and the end of Reconstruction.

Participation as a descendant is contingent upon verification of this connection by the Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA or designated genealogist(s). Credibility of an oral history is subject to review by the Descendants of Enslaved Communities, who are the final authority on participation. Verifying the criterion listed above may take up to but should not exceed one (1) year. The Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA reserves the right to deny participation if any of the above criteria is not met, if a prospective participant cannot or does not provide documentation in a timely manner, or if any documentation has been falsified.

 

Membership Types

 

VERIFIED Descendant - Has satisfactorily met the criteria for membership in the DEC-UVA as determined by the DEC-UVA or associated genealogist. This membership type qualifies for full DEC benefits. 

 

DECLARED Descendant - Self-identifies as a descendant of enslaved or free laborers associated with the University of Virginia or other Virginia plantations, but has not satisfied the criteria for full membership in the DEC-UVA. This membership type qualifies for partial DEC benefits.​

 

NON-DESCENDANT (Individual or Entity) - Any person or entity of goodwill who is committed to supporting the mission and vision of the Descendants of Enslaved Communities at UVA. This membership type only qualifies for partial DEC benefits.

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