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Watch the live-stream via Facebook.

Doors open at 8:15 am. 

8:30 Check in at welcome table.

9:00 Welcoming Remarks

Ana Edwards, Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project
Gregg Kimball, Library of Virginia

Performance by
Nickey McMullen, Vocalist

9:15 SESSION 1

MODERATOR: Michael L. Blakey
Douglas Egerton (live video) - Telling Gabriel’s Rebellion in 1993 and Today
Pamela Bingham - Keeping Gabriel’s Legacy Alive
Elvatrice Belsches - Free Black Life in Richmond During Slavery

10:45 BREAK

Coffee, tea, snacks

11:00 SESSION 2

MODERATOR: Christy Coleman
Midori Takagi (live video) - Industrial Slavery in Urban Richmond
Lauranett Lee - The Lives of Enslaved Children
Lenora McQueen - Defending Ancestors: Richmond's 2nd African Burial Ground
Ryan Smith - Public History of Richmond Cemeteries
Ellen Chapman - Archaeological Stewardship in Shockoe Bottom

12:30 LUNCH

Performances by
Valerie Davis "Nanny" at 1:00
Joseph Sharif Hakim Rogers "James Apostle Fields" at 1:25

1:40 SESSION 3

MODERATOR: Carmen F. Foster
John Moeser - Public Policy Affecting Black Neighborhoods
Rhonda Pleasants - East Marshall Street Well Project
Shawn Utsey - Historical Trauma: Challenging “Reconciliation & Forgiveness”
Ram Bhagat - Healing Trauma: Legacies and Cures

3:10 BREAK

3:20 SESSION 4

Raymond P. Hylton, Virginia Union University - Connecting VUU to Lumpkin's Jail
Phil Wilayto, The Virginia Defender - Reclaiming Shockoe Bottom: Three Stages of the Struggle
Ana Edwards, Sacred Ground Project - Historic Place, Sacred Space, Site of Conscience: The Community Proposal for a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park (2015)
Elizabeth Kostelny, Preservation Virginia - The Case for Equitable Economic Development in Shockoe Bottom - Visit A Future for Shockoe Bottom to download the two reports, "Equitable Economic Redevelopment Resource Guide" and "Community Impacts and Benefits." (the links are at the bottom of the page)


Lawana Holland-Moore, Program Assistant, African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Ana Edwards - Closing

4:30 Thank you for attending! 

If you have never visited Richmond's African Burial Ground and Devil's Half Acre/Lumpkin's Jail sites, you should. They are located about 8 blocks east of the Library of Virginia, just off Broad St. at 16th, and off Grace at 17th. Here is a Map

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed during this symposium are those of the organizers and participants only and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the sponsoring entities. 


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Thank You!

Thank you! The symposium was a wonderful success.If you missed it, you can watch it on Facebook by clicking HERE


The Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project of the Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality will host “Truth & Conciliation in the 400th Year: A Shockoe Bottom Public History Symposium” to be held Saturday, December 7, 2019, at the Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad Street (23219).

With panel discussions and cultural presentations, this all-day symposium will examine the history of Africans and people of African descent in Virginia from their earliest days to the present and the vital role that Shockoe Bottom has played in that history.

This nationally significant event is co-sponsored and hosted by the Library of Virginia, and will also present resources the library has available for African-American academic topics, family history researchers, and the general public.

Our goal is to make crystal-clear the historical impo…

Meet our Moderators

We are very pleased to confirm that Carmen Foster, Michael Blakey, and Christy Coleman have agreed to be moderators for our three main panel discussions. Learn more about them on the Participants page.


Meet our Performers!

We are very excited to have three wonderful Richmond area artists participating in the symposium, adding richness to what might be considered a traditional academic history discussion.