COVID-19 Pandemic

Shelter in Place until June 10: Governor Northam announcement today extends the "stay at home" mandate through the spring.

Wash your hands. Don't touch your face. Carry sanitizer. Stay home or away from group events. Check on family, friends or neighbors who live alone. Stock up on food and necessities, but not at the expense of your neighbors. (The only reason there is a TP shortage is because people have bought far more than they need now)

Check the CDC website for national updates on the pandemic. The Virginia Department of Health site includes the Richmond Department of Health updates.

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Dec 7 Symposium program is set!

Coming up:
Nov. 23: Bike & Walker Tours of Shockoe Bottom
Nov. 25: Release of Shockoe Bottom Economic Study Report
Dec. 4: 3rd Shockoe Alliance Public Workshop
Dec. 7: Shockoe Bottom Public History Symposium
Ongoing: Preserve African American Burial Grounds

Dear Friends,

We really hope to see you on Saturday, December 7 at the Library of Virginia! "Truth and Conciliation in the 400th Year: A Shockoe Bottom Public History Symposium" is the first symposium we've hosted since October 10, 2004. On that date, the historic highway marker "Gabriel's Execution" was unveiled on Broad Street at 15th. The marker overlooks the area where once stood not only the gallows on which General Gabriel's life and several others were taken for attempting to end slavery, but also the first racially segregated cemetery plot established by law, by the town council of Richmond in 1799. The unveiling ceremony was attended by 200 people, 185 of whom had attended the symposium earlier that evening.

Then, as now, the intention of the event was to bring historical facts to past and present realities. That symposium consisted of nine speakers in a single panel, and five of them return for this year's event.  Michael Blakey, Elvatrice Belsches, Douglas Egerton, Phil Wilayto, and I will be of the twenty historians, advocates and activists who will update what we knew in 2004. From reclaiming the African Burial Ground, preventing hasty and destructive development plans, to advocating for a protected nine-acre memorial park--where the new and future interpretation of our history in slavery and freedom can be made accurate and visible! So much has happened in those 17 years, much of it unimaginable back then, and is under way because these modest beginnings were timely and reflect our present day debates about racism and what progress means.

So please join us on December 7th. Registration details are at

Shockoe Alliance Activities

In addition, there are several development, planning and advocacy activities in progress for the Shockoe Bottom area, and it isn't easy to have everyone of those developers, planners or advocates on the same page, even through the Mayor Stoney's attempt at a collaborative initiative, known as the Shockoe Alliance. Please take a moment to learn what each of these projects means for economic and cultural progress in Richmond. The Sacred Ground Project is a participant, but the attention of everyone is essential and we need to you stay informed and to weigh in:

November 23: Bike & Walking Tours

Bike and walking tours are being offered by the Shockoe Alliance to introduce people to the many private and public projects proposed or underway for the area. This is a good opportunity to hear from a city body how they understand how this work is being done and for you to help them understand how you understand it. Learn more and register for a tour at

December 4: Shockoe Alliance 3rd Public Meeting

Three days before the symposium, the Shockoe Alliance will host its third public meeting, being described as a workshop. This session will present to the audience visualizations of the public input received so far on the "small area master plan" of Shockoe Bottom. Feedback will be collected during the event and for a month afterwards via online surveys. Learn more at

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