Inaugural Meeting for Virginia Interscholastic Association Story Website
In September 2017, VIA alumna Knox Tull convened a meeting of key partners to develop a website that could document and showcase the history of the Virginia Interscholastic Association, with a focus on the competitions and leadership development for African American students during the Jim Crow era in academics, athletics, the arts, and student government.
The meeting was held at Virginia State University (VSU). The university was the host for a lot of the VIA activities, and it is also where the VIA archives are housed.
Participants in the meeting were:
Mr. Knox Tull
VSU representatives: President Makola M. Abdullah, Dean Elsie Weatherington, archivist Francine Archer
Teaching for Change representatives: Executive director Deborah Menkart, creative coordinator Mykella Palmer, and researcher Nqobile Mthethwa.
Later in the year, additional partners joined the project including VSU Professor Kristal Clemons, Duquesne University Professor Gretchen Generett, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Professor Joshua Wright.
In the fall of 2017, Nqobile Mthethwa traveled to the VSU Special Collections and Archives to scan VIA images and primary documents, in coordination with archivist Francine Archer. Teaching for Change creative coordinator Mykella Palmer used the scanned collection to develop the VIA Story website. VIA alumni reviewed the prototype of the site before it was made live and launched in the spring of 2018.
Now the focus is to work with VIA alumni to add more first-person stories, primary documents, and narratives.