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New Webpage Launched to Chronicle Community Remembrance Project
7/31/2018

A new webpage is now live on the Albemarle County website to highlight and chronicle the County’s involvement with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Community Remembrance Project.  

In 2016, an ad-hoc blue ribbon commission was created to address questions and concerns regarding race, memorials, and public spaces in Charlottesville. During this time, it was discovered that the local lynching of John Henry James took place in Albemarle County at the Railroad Crossing at Wood’s Station on July 12, 1898.
 
The commission made a recommendation to Charlottesville City Council in 2017 to participate in the EJI Community Remembrance Project’s campaign to recognize the victims of lynchings by collecting soil from lynching sites, erecting historical markers, and creating a memorial that acknowledges the horrors of racial injustice. The County of Albemarle has joined a community coalition led by Dr. Andrea Douglas, Executive Director of the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center, and Dr. Jalane Schmidt, UVA professor of Religious Studies.
 
To date, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors has demonstrated its support of the remembrance efforts through the adoption of two resolutions and Board Member participation in both a soil-collecting ceremony at the site of Mr. James’ lynching, and a community civil rights pilgrimage to transport the soil to Montgomery, Alabama, home of the new EJI Legacy Museum and National Memorial to Peace and Justice.
 
All of this information is now housed on www.albemarle.org/communityremembranceproject.
 
The site is complete with video links, pictures, copies of the resolutions and a transcript of the speech given by Supervisor Rick Randolph at the Community Discussion about Lynching earlier this month. The site will also provide updates on future programs and activities related to the ongoing project.
 
Details can be found on the website right now about an opportunity to hear from pilgrimage participants as they share their experiences from their recent journey to Montgomery.
 
The reflection event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on August 5, 2018, at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center. It will be livestreamed on the day of the event here: www.facebook.com/JSAAHC.  
As the County continues in this partnership, the new website will serve as a valuable resource to community members who wish to get involved.
“I am very happy to have the efforts of this project on display through this website. It does a good job of capturing the impact the remembrance project has already had on the community and will serve as a great learning tool for the citizens of Albemarle County and anyone who uses the site,” said Supervisor Norman Dill, who was able to take part in the pilgrimage.
 
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