The Virginia Black Public History Summer Institute (Summer Institute) is an intensive twelve-week experience designed to connect students at Virginia Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with a wide range of professionals of color who are actively engaging in Black Public History in America. Students will explore public history through readings, hands-on workshops, shadowing professionals, real world professional activities, completing home-based Virginia community outreach projects and participating in a policy summit.


The Summer Institute is twelve weeks, running from Monday, May 18 through Friday, August 7, 2020. The program includes housing and lunches during Part 1 and Part 3 only (see Program Schedule). It also comes with a stipend of $7,200 paid in six biweekly payment of $1,200 each.


The Summer Institute is open to currently enrolled undergraduate students at Virginia HBCUs. Students from any degree-granting program is eligible to apply.

Part 1: Intensive Hands-on Learning

  • 5 weeks; Monday, May 18 – Friday, June 19
  • Location: Charlottesville, Virginia

Part 2: Home-based Virginia Community Project

  • 5 weeks; Monday, June 22 – Friday, July 24
  • Location: Student’s choice and responsibility

Part 3: Policy Summit

  • 2 weeks; Monday, July 27 – Friday, August 7
  • Location: Charlottesville, Virginia
  • March 30: Applications due by 8am EST
  • April 1: Letter of Recommendation due by 5pm EST
  • April 3: Selected students notified by email
  • May 18: Part 1 – Intensive Hands-on Learning begins (5 weeks)
  • June 22: Part 2 – Community Projects begins (5 weeks)
  • July 27: Part 3 – Policy Summit begins  (2 weeks)

Do participants need to have their own car?

No. But you are responsible for getting yourself to and from Charlottesville for parts 1 and 3.

Do participants receive school credit?

Only if arranged through their home institution.

Does the Community Engagement Project need to be in Virginia?


A completed application includes:

  • Online form
  • One letter of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Short Answer 1
  • Short Answer 2
  • Applications Due March 30, 2020 by 8am EST

Please send questions to:

General Instructions:

Please prepare your materials before starting the online form. You must complete the form in one sitting, you are not able to save it and work on it later.

Letter of Recommendation:

Applicants are asked to solicit one letter of reference. Letters must be submitted to no later than April 01, 2020 by 5pm EST. For the online form you will need to provide the name, title/position, e-mail address and phone number for your reference letter writer.

Uploaded Materials:

Please submit your resume and two short answers as individual .PDF (preferred), .DOC or .DOCX files with the following naming conventions:

  • Resume example for Jane Doe: DoeJ_Resume
  • Short Answer 1 example for Jane Doe: DoeJ_Answer1
  • Short Answer 2 example for Jane Doe: DoeJ_Answer2


There are no formatting or length requirements or restrictions for resumes.

Short Answers:

Applicants should format the short answers as single-spaced pages with one-inch margins and with a font size no smaller than eleven point. Responses for each question should not exceed one page.

Short Answer Question 1

  • What do you think public history is and why is it important to Black History? (Hint: we are not looking for a text book definition.)

Short Answer Question 2

  • Describe your areas of interest as they relate to African American History and your career goals.


Director of 2020 Virginia Black Public History Summer Institute
Founder of Saving Slave Houses


Jobie Hill is a licensed preservation architect with over seventeen years of professional experience. She also has degrees in historic preservation, art history and anthropology, and is a Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). Since 2011, her research and professional work has focused exclusively on the architecture of slavery. Hill is engaged in interdisciplinary research examining slave houses, the influence these dwellings had on the lives of their inhabitants, and the preservation of the history of enslaved people. In 2012 she started an independent project titled “Saving Slave Houses” (SSH), with the primary goal to ensure that slave houses, irreplaceable pieces of history, are not lost forever; but also, to change the way we think, talk, research, document, interpret, preserve, restore, teach about, and learn from slave houses. One of the most important components of the SSH is the “Slave House Database” (SHD). The SHD is a national survey and study of slave houses in the United States. It is designed to be a crosswalk for diverse fields to analyze and interpret slave houses, as well as connect to other resources. In her preserve efforts she has had the opportunity to work with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, TED Talk, Trimble, Google, Historic American Buildings Survey, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, National Trust for Historic Preservation, C-SPAN, Montpelier and Monticello.

Justin G. Reid

Director of Community Initiatives, Virginia Humanities
Manager, General Assembly African American Cultural Resources (AACR) Task Force


Justin G. Reid is a cultural heritage and nonprofit professional who’s passionate about culturally sustainable community development, digital and public humanities, and place-based learning. As Virginia Humanities’ director of Community Initiatives, he helps develop, fund and promote cultural heritage projects across the state and manages the General Assembly’s African American Cultural Resources Task Force. Reid previously worked for the Moton Museum & National Historic Landmark in his hometown, Farmville, Virginia, and oversaw the 2013 opening of Moton’s national award-winning, $6 million permanent exhibition on civil rights history. He is a former founding board member of the annual Virginia Children’s Book Festival and co-founder of the College of William & Mary’s Lemon Project on history, memory and race. He currently serves as a board member of the Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE) and as a Governor-appointed board member of the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC).


  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Norfolk State University
  • Preservation Virginia
  • Saving Slave Houses
  • Virginia Africana Associates
  • Virginia Department of Historic Resources
  • Virginia General Assembly African American Cultural Resources Task Force
  • Virginia Humanities
  • Virginia State University
  • University of Virginia


Virginia General Assembly
Virginia Humanities Preferred Logo

This project was funded by a grant from the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Our work brings people together and honors our shared humanity.