University of Richmond Awarded Grant Funding for Project Focusing on Importance of Public Transportation

September 24, 2021

Note: Image above courtesy of Bruce Korusek and GRTC Transit System.

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — The importance of public transportation is the central focus of a new project led by American Studies professor Laura Browder and theatre professor Patricia Herrera.

This semester, Browder and Herrera are teaching “Public Transportation in the Time of Two Pandemics: A Documentary Project," a course focusing on the importance of public transportation in Richmond. The project also examines the families of the GRTC Transit System and the effect of both COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement on GRTC.

Working with students, they expect to create an archive and a digital exhibition. Browder and Herrera are also partnering with Alexandra Byrum, UR’s director of communications and community relations for equity and community, on a permanent exhibition, which will be on display at the headquarters of GRTC.

“Archiving and understanding the role of transit in our city is critical for understanding our institutional history and ties with our urban region, including the suburban expansion that devastated Black neighborhoods around our campus," Herrera said.

This project is receiving more than $40K in grant support from The Associated Colleges of the South and is part of a larger collaboration, which also includes Centre College, Rollins College, Washington and Lee University, and Sewanee: The University Of The South, the project lead. 

This work will continue in other classes next semester, including using the archival materials to support the creation of a transit-themed dance piece, choreographed by dance professor Alicia Díaz and performed by University Dancers in the spring of 2022.