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Twin Memorials Working Group updates community on progress

The following is a message from Twin Memorials Working Group co-chairs Gregory C. Ellison II 99C, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling in Candler School of Theology, and Douglas A. Hicks, dean of Oxford College and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Religion.

Dear Members of the Emory Community:

As we close out this semester and look toward 2022, we — as the co-chairs of the Twin Memorials Working Group — wish to share with you the status of our work and plans for the new year.

The working group, established by President Fenves this past summer as an extension of the Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations, is committed to honoring enslaved persons who labored on Emory’s campus and their descendants, and educating both university stakeholders and the broader community about Emory’s past. We do this restorative work to build toward a more just and inclusive community.

Our working group — consisting of faculty, staff, students and alumni — has met regularly throughout the semester to develop a plan for memorializing the souls enslaved by Emory’s early leaders. We envision twin memorials on both the Oxford and Atlanta campuses that tell these stories in impactful and meaningful ways. Our first step in this process was engaging Baskervill; their team brings expertise in community engagement and memorial design and will be assisting us moving forward.

As spring semester gets underway in January, look for more information about community engagement sessions where you can participate in discourse around this effort. We will be holding listening sessions and community forums where you can share your thoughts, experiences and hopes for this work as we begin conceptualizing a design for the memorials. We will be sharing updates and opportunities for engagement starting in January. 

On behalf of our fellow working group members, thank you for entrusting us to lead this work and, over the coming months, engaging with us to craft compelling, educational memorials that reflect Emory’s whole history. 

Wishing you peace this holiday season.

Sincerely,

Gregory C. Ellison II 99C
Douglas A. Hicks