Monticello, the expansive brick home of Thomas Jefferson, sits atop a hill overlooking farmland, trees and the University of Virginia, the institution founded by the third U.S. president.
In 2016, Georgetown acknowledged that hundreds of people who were enslaved on Jesuit plantations were sold in 1838 to farms in Louisiana to pay off some of the university's debts.
People involved in the GU272 Memory Project, a venture to find the descendants of those slaves, have said they have identified about 9,000 descendants, 4,000 of whom are living. In 2016, the university began offering preferential admission to descendants of slaves who had been owned by the Maryland Province of Jesuits.
One person who took the university up on its offer was 65-year-old Melisande Short-Colomb, who after a career as a chef decided to attend Georgetown University and complete an undergraduate degree in history and theater.
Now, throughout the school year, she walks past buildings such as Isaac Hawkins Hall, a dormitory believed to have been built in part by slaves and which has since been renamed to honor those who were sold to plantation owners in Louisiana.
"It's beautiful," Short-Colomb said about buildings like Isaac Hawkins Hall on the Georgetown campus, "and I am in awe of this institution and this place that was built by my family."
Photo editing by Gabrielle Fonseca Johnson, Layout by Marika Kochiashvili, Text Editing by Mary Milliken and Will Dunham