Race & Racism at the University of Richmond

Race and Racism Observed In UR Sororities

Fraternities at the university have an astounding past surrounding the topic of race and racism, as documented by yearbook pictures and paraphernalia within each fraternity’s history. Unlike fraternities on campus who have exhibited overt forms of racism, sororities have “new” forms of exclusionary practices--often referred to as "covert" or "new" racism--as evidenced through yearbook pictures and Collegian articles.

Historically, white sororities were first chartered at the University of Richmond in 1986 and were hotly debated upon by students, faculty, administrators, and Board of Trustee members. As the fight for sororities expanded from white sororities to Historically Black Sororities in the early 1990s, subtle forms of racism became apparent and highlighted the exclusionary practices of Greek like towards students of color on campus. The exclusionary practices observed in the historically white sororities on campus are found in the unspoken absence of people of color rather than obvious pictures and artifacts, leading many students to view these institutions as perpetuating racism on campus.

This exhibit tracks the history of the establishment of first white sororities and then Black sororities on campus, in efforts to make the social scene at the University of Richmond more inclusive. 

Covert Racism - subtle forms of racism (ie. discouragement based on race, avoiding one based on race, intentionally leaving one out based on race, racial attitudes, etc.)

Overt Racism - Individual racism; blatant racism

Credits

This exhibit was created by Joy Lim ('22) as part of an A&S Summer Fellowship in summer 2019.