The Monticello Community pursues a fully inclusive realization of Thomas Jefferson’s aspirations for equality among all people and the equitable opportunity to pursue life, liberty and happiness. We envision a time when everyone with a connection to Monticello’s original community will feel equally welcome, will be inspired by their historic legacy, and will have a deeper and more nuanced perspective on that community and its members. The Monticello Community will serve as a model of how descendants of a southern U.S. plantation community can find healing and reconciliation for the legacies of enslavement, discrimination, and socio-economic inequity.
To promote and sustain the social and intellectual connections among the descendants of the community of people associated with the historic Monticello plantation, formerly owned by Thomas Jefferson, as well as other individuals with links to Monticello based on oral history, scholarship, preservation, literature, and other interests.
- Opportunities for the younger generation of community descendants to explore the meaning and impact of their Monticello heritage.
- Forums in which members of the community can share historical, genealogical and general information with each other.
- Gatherings of members of the community on regional and national levels, focusing on the interests of the group in history, genealogy, social connection, and issues of multi-generational interracial families and communities
To develop ways for this particular highly visible historic community to explore and share with other families and communities insights and approaches to finding reconciliation across racial lines.
The Monticello Community has been granted a 501(c)7 exemption by the Internal Revenue Service. All contributions are tax deductible.
At the 2002 Annual Meeting of The Monticello Association, the Membership Advisory Committee presented its final report. Among its recommendations was the idea of the Monticello Association taking the lead in forming a new organization called the Families of Jefferson's Monticello. The Association overwhelmingly voted to not support the creation of such an organization.
In 2003, the Hemings Family held a very successful reunion at Monticello. After this reunion, several people, including the late John H. Works, brought up the idea of some type of general gathering along these same lines.
Over time, serious discussions ensued, an ad hoc group formed and plans were made. This has culminated in the inaugural Gathering in July 2007.
The Monticello Community Gathering I was organized by representatives of descendants of the various families with connections to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello plantation. The committee was made up of:
- Prinny Anderson
- Linda Carr-Kraft
- Diana Redman
- Connye Richardson
- Debbie Truscott
- David Works
There were also many other individuals contributing time and expertise.
The last session of Gathering I was a meeting to determine if there was any interest in further activities. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
One of the first steps was to officially organize The Monticello Community and seek tax exempt status. This took much longer than anticipated primarily due to the economic downturn which started shortly after Gathering I. Over the next several years the original planning committee pushed along finally receiving exempt tax status in September 2012.
Seven years will have elapsed since Gathering I and plans are being made for Gathering II in 2014.