A project of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality, the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project was established on October 10, 2004 to apply historical insight to contemporary dynamics to help oppressed peoples exercise their right to self-determination. Our logo is "NEA ONNIM," an Adinkra symbol of knowledge, life-long education and the continued quest for knowledge.
"The proposed Heritage Campus, dedicated to telling the complete history of the neighborhood, will serve as a catalyst for equitable growth." From the city press release, July 19, 2021
The Shockoe Bottom Small Area Plan has been published for public review and comment. A schedule of in-person and virtual information sessions was also provided. The review period will last six weeks, July 19 through August 27. In the draft plan document you'll see that the Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park is referred to as a part of the larger "Heritage Campus."
Overall, a good plan
As a member of the Shockoe Alliance, the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project has participated in the crafting of the plan which covers several aspects of urban planning specific to the physical and economic characteristics of the Shockoe Bottom district. But the primary theme is that this planning document centers the significance of the area's African and African American history into the structural planning for the area's development. This is a good thing and the result of years of community advocacy and involvement. We encourage everyone to take advantage of every opportunity to look over the plan and add your thoughts.
Next up: Governance
What's missing from the plan at this point is any discussion of what entity will own the campus and what entity will manage it. This matters because such governance translates into determining how the history of Shockoe Bottom will be told. Going forward the Defenders will be focused on making sure that the descendant community has a prioritized voice in both the administration of the campus and in how the story of Shockoe Bottom is told.
Link to "City's Shockoe Bottom plan centers on memorial site," Chris Suarez, Times Dispatch, July 20, 2021