Public historian Lauranett Lee, adjunct assistant professor of liberal arts, delivered the keynote address at the unveiling of the Emancipation and Freedom Monument on Brown’s Island.

Service off the Clock

February 1, 2022

SPCS Faculty Update

Faculty and staff lend their time and expertise to the local community

Ethical, meaningful engagement with our local and global communities is a core value at UR. Faculty and staff lend their time and expertise to all manner of organizations across the city. Richmond is, after all, part of the University’s name.

For public historian Lauranett Lee, adjunct assistant professor of liberal arts, serving our local community is practically in her DNA.

“Service has always been a part of our family legacy,” Lee said. “This is my purpose — to move people toward positive change.”

Much of Lee’s service is aimed at shaping the way others embrace and interact with Virginia’s history.

In September 2015, Lee was appointed by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to the Capitol Square Preservation Council (CSPC), and she has chaired it since September. The CSPC is revamping the Capitol Square visitor experience to make it more inclusive and holistic.

Lee is also an appointee to the Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission, which promotes King’s legacy and the continuation of his work.

On Sept. 22, she delivered the keynote address at the unveiling of the Emancipation and Freedom Monument on Brown’s Island, constructed as part of the commission’s commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the abolition of slavery.

“I spoke from the heart,” Lee said. “I think more than anything I wanted people to feel the pain of the past but also share in the joy of the moment. Because with the monument itself, it’s so triumphant. It’s uplifting out of something that was so hurtful and horrific.”