On Thursday, July 20, 2017, the Witness Stones Project will be introduced to the public during a 7 pm talk at the Guilford Free Library. The talk, given by Dennis Culliton will discuss his research and findings about Guilford and Madison Connecticut’s enslaved communities during the late Colonial and Early American periods.
The talk will go on to introduce members of the Witness Stones Committee and their plans to work with middle school students to restore the history and honor the humanity of individuals of that community.
How did this project start? Although we do not want to tell the whole story now (when we can tell it in person at the library), it started with three friends. One friend, Dennis is a teacher who independently conducts research on the enslaved community locally. One friend, Doug is a retired family counselor who travels regularly to Germany to help the Germans address issues around memory and the Holocaust. The third person, Cindy is a community activist, wife, and mother who ensured that we understood the power of the project we would be undertaking. So when Doug brought back the images and ideas behind the Stolepersteine, four inch cubed stones with brass caps that are installed in front of homes detailing and commemorating the lives and humanity of Jews murdered during the Holocaust, we saw a connection and opportunity to restore the memory of the enslaved here. We plan engaging 8th grade students in the research and analysis of the locally enslaved. Their work will lead to the installation of Witness Stones in front of places where the locally enslaved lived, worked, or prayed using four inch cubes granite blocks and brass caps stamped with details about the person remembered.
Please join us at the Guilford Free Library on Thursday the 20th of July at 7 pm for the talk and unveiling of the Witness Stones Project.
To date, the project has received generous grants from the Guilford Foundation/Youth Advisory Group and the Guilford Fund For Education. We have also received sponsorship from Mr. Ken Horton, Pasquarelli Electric, and Bender Plumbing. For a previous article written about the project, please see Zoe Roos’ article in the Guilford Courier at: https://www.zip06.com/news/20170412/guilford-group-starts-slavery-plaque-project.
Please email Dennis@WitnessStones.org for more information.