Research and restitution grant announced for the Williamsburg Bray School Project

Saturday, Feb. 19, the Williamsburg Bray School Project announced that they would be receiving a $5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The Bray School Project is a collaboration between Colonial Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary, focusing on the restoration and research of the Bray School, an 18th-century institution that once taught free and enslaved Black children, some of whom were enslaved by the College.

The grant comes as part of the Mellon Foundation’s Monuments Project, a $250 million project dedicated to promoting public history projects throughout the United States. Money from the grant will be used to fund the preservation, restoration and relocation of the Bray School building to Colonial Williamsburg’s historic district, as well as creating public programming initiatives related to the school.

“For far too long, crucial voices have been missing from the stories we tell about William & Mary’s past — and that of our nation,” College President Katherine A. Rowe said in a press release. “We are grateful for the opportunity to listen to the voices of Bray School students and their families through sustained research and to amplify their stories for all to hear. Thanks to the Mellon Foundation’s support and our partnership with Colonial Williamsburg, we can learn from those stories, acknowledge historical injustices and work toward a more inclusive future.”


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