Anthony Foxx was named chair of the Commission on Race and Slavery at Davidson College in North Carolina. The commission is charged with investigating how the college’s own history is intertwined with the institution of slavery, the lives and work of enslaved persons, and conceptions of race that emerged from this history.
Fox is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in history and was the first African American to be elected student body president. He now holds a seat on the college’s board of trustees.
Foxx went on to earn a juris doctorate at the New York University School of Law. He served as mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, from 2009 to 2013. Then he was appointed by President Obama to serve as U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
In accepting the appointment to chair the commission examining the college’s past, Foxx stated that “Davidson’s mission includes cultivating humane instincts, recognizing the value and dignity of each person. As an initial matter, our mission will be to develop a process by which students, and all of us tied to this great college we love, can engage asking and answering questions and better comprehending the history of the institution and the community around it. I am even more proud of Davidson College today than I have ever been — for having the courage to look in the mirror and attempt to understand itself through the prism of history.”