The charge of the Yale and Slavery Working Group (YSWG) is as follows:
to investigate Yale’s historic entanglements and associations with slavery, the slave trade, and abolition.
Guided by this scholarly objective, the group will conduct research at Yale and beyond in order to shed light on the university’s history. The findings will help us come to a better understanding of Yale and will contribute to the scholarship on slavery and abolition more broadly.
Members of the YSWG include leading Yale scholars, current Yale students, and community members with a deep interest in and knowledge of relevant histories.
As the project draws to a close, the YSWG will share its findings widely for discussion, remembrance, and learning. Public engagements may include a conference.
The project aims to conclude, with recommendations and a report, by the end of the calendar year 2021 or beginning of 2022.
To send a message to the Yale and Slavery Working Group, use this webform. Please note that, due to the volume of messages received and the group’s research activities, not all messages will receive a response. However, working group members will carefully review each message.
David Blight (Chair)
Sterling Professor of History, of African American Studies, and of American Studies, Department of History; Director, Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale
Physician Assistant, Smilow Cancer Center; Member, Amistad Committee
Professor of History and Chair of the Program in History of Science and Medicine
Associate Professor African American Studies, History and American Studies, Department of African American Studies
James Forman Jr.
J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law, Yale Law School
Senior Lecturer, Department of History; Associate Director, Howard R. Lamar Center for the Study of Frontiers & Borders
Professor of Economics and African American Studies, Department of Economics and Department of African American Studies
Willie James Jennings
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies, Yale Divinity School
University Archivist, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library
Kenneth P. Minkema
Executive Editor, Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale Divinity School
Communications Director, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Director, Afro-American Cultural Center; Assistant Dean, Yale College
Professor of History and of American Studies, Department of History and Department of American Studies; Director, Center for the Study of Race, Indigeneity and Transnational Migration; Associate Head, Ezra Stiles College
Assistant Professor, History of Science & History of Medicine, Department of African American Studies and Program in the History of Science and Medicine
Associate Professor of African American Studies & History, Department of History
Chief Research Archivist, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library
John Stuart Gordon
Benjamin Attmore Hewitt Curator of American Decorative Arts, Yale University Art Gallery
Head of Collections, Information and Access; Assistant Curator, Early Modern Art; Yale Center for British Art
Charles Warner, Jr.
Member, Dixwell Avenue Congregational United Church of Christ; Member, Amistad Committee
Yale College ’23
Yale Divinity School ’22
MD/PhD student in History of Science, History of Medicine at Yale
Yale College ’21
Yale Law School ’21
Department of History, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Ph.D. ’23
Departments of History and African American Studies, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Ph.D. ’23
Yale Divinity School, MAR ’21
Yale College ’20
Social and Behavioral Sciences MPH Candidate, US Health Justice Concentration, Yale School of Public Health, Class of ‘22