Monday, March 26, 2018

URSP Student Ayman Fatima Hopes to Uncover the History and Founding of George Mason University

My name is Ayman Fatima and I am a sophomore currently majoring in Government and International Politics and Systems Engineering. However, my current conducting research in history. As you can see, I have a wide variety of interests and my current project allows me to combine my passion for social justice with my love of history. This past summer I was part of the Enslaved Children of George Mason project research team, and through this project I became interested in the history of our institution. I believe that we need to start recognizing that our country and our institutions of higher education were born out of the brutal and exploitative system of slavery. To come to terms with this history we must stop hiding it. I hope to aid in this endeavor by shining a light on the lives of those men, women, families, and children that were enslaved on the land that is now our university. I also hope to explore and learn more about the foundation of this university, of my university, in relation to Jim Crow and massive resistance.

I am not a history major and don’t plan to become a historian, but I am learning valuable research and analytical skills that I will be able to apply in my fields.

On a weekly basis I am reading secondary and primary sources to learn more about the history and founding of this university. Additionally, I am looking through records at the Fairfax County Courthouse to trace the chain of title for the Fairfax Campus.

One interesting thing I have found so far is that there was a lot of controversy when choosing a location for GMU.