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Reckoning, Reconciliation & the Hallowed Ground Project

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Justice > Updates

The Hallowed Ground Project

Reckoning and Reconciliation: Examining Colonialism and Racism on the Landscape


In 2018, Goucher College began addressing the issues of slavery and racial injustice that have occurred on the land that Goucher College occupies. This ongoing interdisciplinary project seeks to place the narratives of those who were previously excluded from the historical record to its forefront: Indigenous peoples, enslaved and free African Americans, and other marginalized communities. By incorporating the research methodologies of several disciplines, Goucher College is gleaning a more in-depth account of the past. Please visit The Hallowed Ground Project webpage for additional information. 

Current Exhibit and Public Programs

Special Collections & Archives (SC&A) is currently hosting an exhibit through June 2024 that highlights the process of creating the land acknowledgement statement. Several classes have visited the exhibit to discuss its purpose and intentionality. SC&A staff is also coordinating a visit for two Peace Studies classes with Mario Harley, a tribal citizen of the Piscataway Conoy, who will discuss the significance of wampum. He contributed his wisdom, time, and knowledge to the land acknowledgement statement. Two curators from Johns Hopkins University Museums also visited the exhibit to learn more about the statement and the process of its creation.

Read the land acknowledgement and process paper.

Academic Year 2023

Several professors integrated The Hallowed Ground Project (HGP) into their courses, including Professional Communication (Katherine Cottle), Marketing Management (Dave Grossman), FYS – College in American Society (William Harder), Religions of Baltimore (Ann Duncan), Alternative Forms of Justice, Truth, and Repair (Ailish Hopper), Introduction to Africana Studies (Kami Fletcher), and Native American Sovereignty (Jen Bess). Each class visited SC&A for a brief overview and discussion of HGP, as well as document analysis activities using primary sources housed in SC&A. Several classes completed projects that contributed to the historical record and introduced more students to the College’s reparative work. Those projects include a successful Open House event in SC&A, reports, and brochures.

Special Collections & Archives Open House hosted by students in BUS 229 (Marketing Management, David Grossman)

Spring 2024 Public Programs

Goucher College is co-hosting a Descendant Engagement Symposium on April 5 – 6, 2024 with our community partners at Hampton National Historic Site and Historic East Towson. The 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 work, and the challenges faced during the process, and what future steps will be taken.

Summer 2024

Archival research will continue at multiple institutions including the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Hampton NHS Archives, Maryland State Archives, Historical Society of Kent County, and the Maryland Center for History and Culture. This new information will be incorporated into a new permanent exhibit on campus (see below). After this phase of in-depth archival research, focus will pivot to genealogical research to find Descendants of those enslaved at Epsom. Archaeological research will also be considered based on findings

Fall 2024

The First Phase of Memorialization will begin through a permanent exhibit on The Hallowed Ground Project. It will be installed in the Julia Rogers Building lobby, the original site of Epsom Mansion. Not only will it tell the story of the Project, but it will also provide the newest historical research from the summer and re-memory the landscape with a new narrative focusing on those who have been forgotten. We are in the beginning phases of discussing student assistance in exhibit interpretation.

Ongoing and Future Plans

There are many behind-the-scenes aspects of this project. The most important parts are research and community outreach. These two pieces are ongoing, build upon the past, and frame future initiatives. A student worker in SC&A is also re-processing the Buildings & Grounds Archival Collection under the supervision of the Education Archivist.

Community Outreach always plays a significant role in this project. We work very closely with community members in Historic East Towson and Hampton NHS. These historically connected sites are exploring the possibility of a shared walking and cycling trail for community engagement with stories, nature, and art. HGP also assists the Baltimore County Coalition of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project through research, conducting oral histories, and public presentations. We have also collaborated with Ilka Knuppel, a local archaeologist who is researching Glen Ellen Castle and their enslaved workers. The ruins of this slaveholding estate are located on the other side of Hampton NHS.