Tracing Lives through Slavery, Engaging Hallowed Grounds along the Road to Freedom: Preserving, Protecting & Redefining Community

Hampton National Historic Site, Goucher College, and Historic East Towson, three communities sharing a connected landscape and history, are exploring Descendant stories and how they are interpreted through historic sites, college campuses, and within the Community itself.

The Descendant Engagement Symposium will feature panel discussions highlighting the voices of Descendants in the re-interpretation of historic sites and college campus narratives. New names and stories of resilience and strength add depth to the historical record and to the legacies of the Descendant communities today. Other discussions will focus on research, the research process, student, faculty, and staff, and the challenges faced during the process, and what future steps will be taken.

Our goals include telling the stories of those enslaved equitably through cultural alignment and understanding. We take ownership of these stories by welcoming input from all areas of the community, particularly silenced and dissenting voices. The work of connecting Descendant input, thoughts, and personal connections to historic sites and campuses will create a more accurate and in-depth historical narrative that will be shared through the planning and interpretation of exhibits and other memorialization initiatives. We encourage individuals and organizations to step forward to work in partnership.

Symposium Schedule

Friday, April 5, 2024

Day 1: The Athenaeum at Goucher College

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. | Welcome

  • Kent Devereaux, President, Goucher College
  • Nancy Goldring, President, Northeast Towson Improvement Association, Inc.
  • Robert Stewart, Acting Superintendent, Hampton National Historic Site

9:30 – 10:15 a.m. | Keynote Speaker: Descendant Engagement

  • Eola Dance, CEO & President, James Madison’s Montpelier

10:15 – 10:30 a.m. | Break

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. | Approaching Descendant Engagement

  • Stephen Hammond, Family Historian and Genealogist
  • Cheryl LaRoche, Associate Research Professor in Historic Preservation in the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at the University of Maryland, College Park
  • Charles Cuvelier, Superintendent, George Washington Memorial Parkway
  • Gregory Weidman, Chief Curator, Hampton National Historic Site

11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. | Lunch

12:45 – 2:00 p.m. | Descendants’ Perspectives: Interpreting Difficult Stories on Contemporary Landscapes

  • Nancy Goldring, President, Northeast Towson Improvement Association, Inc.
  • Myra (Neicy) DeShields-Moulton, African American Genealogist
  • Trevon Gross, Lead Pastor/Founder, Hope Cathedral, Jackson, NJ

2:00 – 2:15 p.m. | Ingrained…! Performed by The Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble

  • Choreographer: Mustapha Braimah
  • Original sound composed and performed by: Mustapha Braimah and Amadou Kouyate
  • Poem written by: Mutabaruka
  • Audio by: Manhyia Tete Nwonkoro Kuo
  • Costumes: Mustapha Braimah
  • Dancers: Nalani Brown, Phoebe Harrison, Sydney Good, Trichelle White, Yvonne Nguyen, Carter Hinton-Ayodele, Sam Koseff, Tovah Oslovich, Jocelyn Odom

2:15 – 3:15p.m. | Historical Reckoning: Academic Institutions Address New Narratives of their Histories

  • Kelsey R. M. Bush, JD, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
  • David Carey, Loyola University of Maryland
  • Joni Floyd, University of Maryland
  • Heather Cooper, Johns Hopkins University
  • Michelle Wright, Community College of Baltimore
  • Ashley Todd-Diaz, Towson University
  • Debbie Harner, Goucher College

3:15 – 3:45 p.m. | Poster Session

3:45 – 4:30 p.m. | Legacies of Suburban Development and Urban Renewal in Baltimore County and the Effects on Descendant Communities

  • Samuel Collins, Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Towson University

Tickets are free, but registration is required for each day.

Register for Day 1

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Day 2: Tours

9:00 – 10:30 a.m. | Hampton National Historic Site
Sharing the stories of the formerly enslaved and the Ridgely Family.

10:30 – 11:00 a.m. | Break

11:00 a.m. – 1:00 pm. | The Road to Freedom Trail Tour in Historic East Towson
Sharing the stories of the Descendant communities created in 1829 and 1864 and the effects of urbanization in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Tickets are free, but registration is required for each day.

Register for Day 2

Photo credits (top of page, left to right):
Head waiter Tom Brown in Hampton Dining Room, c. 1895. National Park Service
Goucher College Library Special Collections & Archives
Nancy Goldring, Northeast Towson Improvement Association, Inc.