Throughout the summer of 2017, the Citizen Justice Initiative team researched the history surrounding Charlottesville’s Confederate statues to create a StoryMap entitled “The Illusion of Progress: Charlottesville’s Roots in White Supremacy.” The resource builds on extensive work by members of the Charlottesville and University community, who collected sources, made presentations, wrote think pieces, and created syllabi to educate onlookers, activists, and curious citizens about the roots of white supremacy locally and beyond. It also sources past projects on local history to make previous research on Charlottesville, the University, and Virginia relevant to the resurgence white supremacist activity today. Specifically, the Illusion of Progress would not be possible without the work of the "Vinegar Hill Project," "Race and Place" archive, and past research projects created by researchers at the Carter G. Woodson Institute for African-American and African Studies and the Virginia Center for Digital History.
After overwhelming responses from teachers, academics and educators, CJI revamped and redesigned "the Illusion of Progress" for teaching applications. Preserving the initial publication, a link to the "teaching version" can be found at the end of the introduction.
The Illusion of Progress has also featured at the following conferences, presentations, and workshops:
- September 2017, Presentation in UVA Engagement course entitled "Race, Racism, Colony and Nation"
- November 2017, Workshop for the “Let ‘Em Shine” Program sponsored by Albemarle County Schools at James Madison's Montpelier
- March 2018, Presentation for K-12 teachers at "Resources for Teaching the History of Race in the United States" with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) sponsored by the Center for Liberal Arts (CLA)
- April 2018, Workshop for the Dumbarton Oaks Garden and Landscape Studies program
- October 2018, Conference Paper for “Intentionally Digital, Intentionally Black” at the University of Maryland, African American History, Culture and Digital Humanities (AADHUM)
- March 2019, Presentation for K-12 teachers at the University of Richmond for "Teaching the History of Race in the United States" with the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) sponsored by the Center for Liberal Arts (CLA)
- August 16, 2017 Lifetime Learning: “In the Aftermath”
- August 17, 2017 NCSS Response to the Tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia
- October 17, 2017 UVA TODAY: “The Difference a Department Makes: Woodson Institute Determines its Destiny”
- December 6, 2017 Charlottesville Tomorrow: “Montpelier hosting student symposium on monuments, memorials”
- January 22, 2018 DH @ University of Oregon: “Using Digital Scholarship to study Racism in America”
- February 1, 2018 Europe Now: “First Response: A Reading List”
- February 7, 2018 UVA TODAY: “Woodson Institute’s ‘August in Perspective: Creative Responses’ Calls to Body and Soul”
- March 19, 2018 Richmond Teachers for Social Justice: “Teaching Hard History”
- March 30, 2018 UVA TODAY: “UVA Program Arms K-12 Teachers with Resources on Slavery and Racism”