November 2, 2017 at 9:30 am
On the Historic Guilford Green*
“Only by coming to terms with history can we free ourselves to create a more just world.”
-Drew Gilpin Faust
On November 2, 2017, the public is invited to join Adams Middle School 8th grade students, the Witness Stones Committee, and community leaders on the Guilford Green at 9:30am for the inaugural ceremony commemorating the installation of the first Witness Stones in Guilford.
This fall, 8th grade students at Adams Middle School began the process of analyzing primary and secondary documents. Through their work, the students are illuminating the lives of enslaved persons who lived in Guilford and opening a dialogue about how these individuals contributed to the fabric of the town. Dennis Culliton, Co-Founder of the Witness Stones Project and a history teacher at Adams Middle School, states: “student work will be the centerpiece of our project and the program created as part of the installation ceremony.”
The Witness Stones, inspired by the Stolpersteine in Germany, will each bear the name of an enslaved individual together with information that was uncovered about them through the research process. Following the opening ceremony (which will include music, speakers, and students’ recitation of their work), those gathered will move to three historic locations near the Green for the installations of the first Witness Stones. With the help of community leaders, the students will install the Stones in sidewalks in front of the locations where Moses, Phyllis, and Candace once lived enslaved.
In stumbling upon a Stone, one is invited to bear witness to these individuals, honoring their humanity and contributions. The goal is to restore history and, ultimately, to promote equality, justice, and inclusion in the present.
“Through research, education, and civic engagement, the Witness Stones Project seeks to restore the history and to honor the humanity and contributions of the enslaved individuals who helped build our communities.”
*In the event of rain, the opening ceremony will be held in Adams Middle School’s Gymnasium.
This project is generously funded by the Guilford Foundation, the Guilford Fund for Education, the Horton Group, and Witness Stones Membership, and is supported by Guilford Public Schools.