Shockoe Bottom: Let's get our community voices back in the picture!

Following the February 27 Unveiling of The Shockoe Project, we heard two responses. "We Won! You must be so happy!" and "I don't know if I believe it. You know how Richmond is." 

But the Memorial Park is happening. And we are in that exciting and challenging phase that involves maintaining the highest aspirations and navigating realities until we get to opening day! 

So, what do we need to pay attention to now?

We've written about the next steps and they are centered on the idea that at the heart of this project from the beginning was YOU! What does the Black community need from this project and how does it happen? We have ideas and we have shared them in The Virginia Defender newspaper and in public presentations since "The Shockoe Unveiling" on Feb. 27 (see page 10 in the Winter 2023 issue of The Virginia Defender). Public engagement meetings will be scheduled soon for various aspects of The Shockoe Project and we'd like your voices heard and to open up the rooms where it happens! To this end, we are working on a survey for July publication to get your thoughts on these ideas for ensuring Black descendant input and benefit. 

Email any questions to
Sign up for Defenders Updates & Announcements to stay engaged!

*The next public meeting for the Shockoe HILL African Burial Ground Memorial is July 17 at Main St Station*

For background and reference, check out the following reports:
  1. Read the original 2015 Alternative Proposal for Shockoe Bottom and the 2017 Proposal for a Shockoe Bottom Memorial Park update.
  2. Read 2018 Shockoe Bottom Equitable Economic Redevelopment Resource Guide. This document is a report on equitable economic redevelopment principles and practices relevant to urban conditions in Richmond and provides examples of projects around the country that have succeeded or failed and why. 
  3. Visit to learn more about The Shockoe Project concepts for the 10-acre area as they currently stand and what the planners are working on. Sign up to receive updates as they are announced and to provide feedback.

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