The Black Lives Matter Student-Alumni-Faculty Collective at the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond recently hosted the Richmond [Re]Visited event which focused on a theme of mental health and racial justice. This event aimed to teach the university’s social work students and others in the social work field about Richmond’s history with racial discrimination and its effects which still linger today. Faculty leaders believe that this event better prepares their students for careers in social work by giving them a better understanding of racial justice.
As part of the event, participants took a bus tour of Richmond to view historical sites around the city. One of their stops included the site of a former slave market at Great Shiplock Park. At the center of Virginia’s slave trade, this market was second-largest in the United States at that time.
Additionally, participants heard from two university alumna who currently serve in the professional social work field. The speakers stressed how important it was to understand how mental health is affected in historically Black neighborhoods. This part of the event was held at the Peter Paul Development Center in the East End of Richmond. The center works to promote the healing of racial trauma.