Finding America: UnMonumental

UnMonumental is a weekly series about how we remember our past in Richmond. Stories air every Friday morning and afternoon.  

UnMonumental is produced by Kelley Libby and brought to you by WVTF/Radio IQ and Finding America, a national initiative produced by AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Incorporated, and with financial support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Wyncote Foundation, the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  


The story of racial inequality and tension in Charlottesville—as in many American cities—is older, more complex, and largely untold than what unfolded on August 12th.

Join us for a panel discussion, including UnMonumental's Kelley Libby, about how journalists cover race and racism in American communities. Hosted by Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of Columbia Journalism Review, and Brendan Fitzgerald, director of CJR’s United States Project on Monday, September 18th at The Haven at First and Market in Charlottesville.

Ways to Connect

Bill Harrison is the executive director of Diversity Richmond, which serves Central Virginia's LGBTQ communities. Harrison grew up in the small farming community of Emporia, Virginia and moved to Richmond as an adult. This week he led a vigil for the victims of the Orlando shooting, and here he shares about the significance of gay bars in Richmond.

When Richmond Felt Like Rehab

Jun 10, 2016



“My name is Victoria Matoska. I’m from Kenosha, Wisconsin. That’s where I lived the majority of my life.

“If you ever look at those—they always have them on Facebook—the maps of the U.S. and it’ll be a red dot for cities that have more bars than churches or more bars than grocery stores, and the area in Wisconsin that I was living in is just completely dotted in red.



When a City Cared for Its People

May 27, 2016

“The vision I think that guides me forward, or what I’m kindof working towards, is this idea of a more just city. 


“When I was in college, I went to Italy to visit a friend, and I was blown away by the fact that in historic Rome their sidewalks were covered by colonnades. And it really dawned on me that to spend all the money on that infrastructure showed a great value of the citizenry of Rome, versus growing up in Richmond, where bus stops aren’t covered and people are sitting in the rain waiting for a bus, and that does not show an equal value for the citizens.

Richmond Hill is an ecumenical, residential Christian Community located in the historic monastery of the Sisters of the Visitation of Monte Maria on Church Hill in the center of Richmond. The mission of the Community is to pray and work for the transformation of the metropolitan city. Prayers are three times a day—at 7 a.m., noon, and 6 p.m. A bell rings to call the community to prayer.

Shola Walker lived at Richmond Hill when she was a teenager.

When a Songwriter Got Her First Song

May 12, 2016


We moved to Richmond maybe like the summer of 2004, and within maybe six months one of our neighbors who we hung out with was diagnosed with lung cancer. It was a horrible, painful thing—she had a young daughter, eight years old.