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VCU and East Marshall Street Well Project Planning Committee announce community consultations

April 13, 2015

By Mike Porter

Virginia Commonwealth University leaders and the East Marshall Street Well Project Planning Committee will hold the first of four “community consultations” as part of the continued study, memorialization and reburial of human remains uncovered 20 years ago during construction on VCU’s MCV campus. The remains, believed to be largely of African descent, were discovered in an abandoned 19th century well. 

The first session of “Community Consultations on the Well: A Series of Learning and Feedback Sessions" will take place on Saturday, April 18, from 8:30 a.m. until noon at the Martin Luther King Middle School gymnasium, 1000 Mosby St., Richmond. Additional sessions will be held May 2, May 16 and May 30. 

The first community consultation will help to frame the conversation about how to move forward and will include presentations from Jodi Koste, archivist and head of special collections at VCU’s Tompkins-McCaw Library; Quincy Birdsong, associate vice president for health sciences strategic initiatives and engagement at VCU; and Joanna Wilson Green, archaeologist with Virginia Department of Historic Resources. 

Audience members will also divide into smaller groups to hold more detailed discussions. The community consultation will include a continental breakfast and culturally appropriate entertainment. 

The planning committee, consisting of community and university members, was established in 2013 to select an appropriate decision-making body to help determine the best way to study, memorialize and rebury the remains.

More information about the East Marshall Street Well Project is available at emsw.vcu.edu. Visit http://www.cvent.com/d/mrqq5f/4W to register for the first community consultation or for more information, contact Stephen E. Davenport at davenportse3@vcu.edu.  

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