Historic Shockoe Bottom Community Meetings

The Richmond Peace Education Center supports longstanding community efforts to preserve the historic grounds in Shockoe Bottom and commemorate the lives of enslaved people who were held in bondage, and even buried there.  Towards that end, RPEC is co-sponsoring a community meeting in our neighborhood to solicit community input about how to best preserve this key part of Richmond’s history.

Before the Civil War, as many as 350,000 people were sold out of Virginia to the plantations of the Deep South.  Richmond’s Shockoe Bottom was the center of this U.S. domestic slave trade.  The historic legacy of Shockoe must be preserved.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has identified the Shockoe Bottom District as one of our nation’s most endangered historic sites.  Read the full report here: Shockoe Bottom Report January 2015

The Richmond community, and the world, have made clear: Shockoe Bottom is no place for a baseball stadium.

Richmonders are now invited to speak out on this question: HOW DOES OUR COMMUNITY WANT TO COMMEMORATE THIS SACRED GROUND?

RPEC is cosponsoring the community brainstorming session scheduled for March 18 at Humphrey Calder community center, near our office, to discuss alternative proposals for preserving the historic legacy of Shockoe Bottom. All are welcome.

Other groups are organizing other COMMUNITY BRAINSTORMING SESSIONS in other locations.  Join with your neighbors for a discussion on what we would like to see in Shockoe Bottom:  A Memorial Park? Museum? Interpretive center? Historical District?

RPEC co-sponsored discussion:

Where:  Humphrey Calder Recreation Center, 414 N Thompson St., Richmond VA 23221

When:  Wednesday, March 18, 2015, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This meeting is covering the 1st, 2nd, and 5th City Council districts (Jon Baliles, Charles Samuels, and Parker Agelasto).  The session is cosponsored by the Richmond Peace Education Center, the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project & The Virginia Defender newspaper.

Other meetings currently scheduled:

3rd District (Chris Hilbert):, 3:30-5:30 at the Dream Academy, at North Avenue and Brookland Park Blvd. Sat., March 21.

6th & 7th Districts (Ellen Robertson & Cynthia Newbille):  6:30-8:30 pm, Fri., March 20 – Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, 1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike

4th, 8th & 9th Districts (Kathy Graziano, Reva Trammell & Michelle Mosby):  6:30-8:30 pm, Fri., March 27 – Taza Coffee ‘n Crème, 5047 Forest Hill Ave.

Each meeting will will open with a presentation on the history and significance of Shockoe Bottom, with a Power Point presentation with maps showing the Bottom and the historic sites already identified.

This will be followed by a moderated discussion of what Richmond citizens would like to see in preserving this historic district.  At the end of each meeting participants will summarize and distill the discussions and various ideas into a proposal.  More detailed background information can be found at the Community Committee Against a Shockoe Bottom Stadium website.

Richmond only gets one opportunity to preserve the historic legacy of Shockoe Bottom.  It’s up to us to decide.