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What We Don't Know Can Hurt Us- What We Talk About Can Save Us

Symposium on African American History Draws Educators, Museum Professionals, Historic Sites 

and Community & Faith Leaders to Grounds for Sculpture in Growing Movement for Change

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ

On Wednesday, November 1st, 2017, the Grounds For Sculpture hosted the third statewide symposium of its kind, “Presenting and Discussing Difficult Topics in African American History”. The programming was designed to inspire conversation as well as provide information, resources and a regularly scheduled networking forum. The symposium was funded in part by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities and the New Jersey Historical Commission.


Workshop sessions were organized for people working in schools at all levels, as well as for people working in colleges and universities. Other workshops were designed for people meeting with visitors to museums, libraries and historic sites and members of faith and civic groups.

“Our symposia have served to seek answers through exploring our history and culture to make for a more harmonious and productive today and tomorrow,” asserted moderator Dr. Linda Caldwell-Epps, President and CEO of 1804 Consultants and Former President of the New Jersey Historical Society.


The all-day event, organized by a partnership among Grounds For Sculpture (GFS), the New Jersey Historical Society, the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum (SSAAM), and the 1719 William Trent House also included a special viewing of Joyce J. Scott: Harriet Tubman and Other Truths, an exhibition of works by Scott, a Baltimore-based artist and MacArthur “Genius” Grant winner, now on view at Grounds For Sculpture. 


“Museums and cultural institutions have the potential to serve as bridges within our communities. GFS was honored to partner with the New Jersey Historical Society, Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, and the William Trent House on these symposiums, which brought together people of all backgrounds who share a desire for change and transformative dialogue about race." says Gary Garrido Schneider, Executive Director of Grounds For Sculpture.


During the symposium, the character of Harriet Tubman came to life in the performance of actress and educator, Ivey Avery, who quipped that she was usually only invited to visit during February for Black History Month. 


Kimberly Nagy, Wild River Publishing

November 2017

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