To observe the one-year anniversary of the dedication of the Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland, the Sacred Journey was born. Walking the Procession of Dignity is an opportunity to walk the roads that the enslaved walked, to contemplate the lives that they lived, and to give value to the idea of the unbroken chain that links the present and the past. The procession also serves to proclaim the unity of our community, our commitment to treating one another with dignity, and our shared responsibility to preserving the history of the enslaved persons who had inhabited our ground. It is a public sacrament that restores and reaffirms the dignity and humanity of the enslaved.
Saturday, November 13
Join us for the day or at select events throughout The Sacred Journey. The Procession of Dignity can be walked in its entirety or joined at three key locations: St. Mary’s Hall, The Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland or the Waterfront.
The Procession of Dignity is a two-mile walk on paved and bricked walkways, with varying elevations. For those who cannot walk the route, a limited number of people movers will be available.
The two-part program will be held rain or shine. Please dress appropriately for the weather.
The Panel of Remembrance and Reverence
This part of the program focuses on the experiences of the enslaved and their descendants. *The Panel Of Remembrance And Reverence has been made possible in part by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom.
1:30 – 2:45 p.m. – Panel of Remembrance and Reverence, Auerbach Auditorium, St. Mary’s Hall
- Welcome Remarks by Regina Faden, executive director, Historic St. Mary’s City
- Keynote & Panelists:
- Maya Davis, historian, archivist, activist and director of Riversdale House Museum in Prince George County, Maryland
- Julia King, professor of anthropology, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
- Travis Parno, director of research and collections, Historic St. Mary’s City
- Gwen Bankins and Angela Wilson, Sotterley Descendant Community
The Procession of Dignity
St. Mary’s College President Tuajuanda C. Jordan will lead the Procession of Dignity, traversing the campus to the Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland before returning to the River Center beach along the St. Mary’s River.
2:55 – 3:05 p.m. – Blessing at Trinity Episcopal Church, churchyard near labyrinth
- Father John Ball
3:05 – 4:00 p.m. – The Procession of Dignity from St. Mary’s Hall to the Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland
- Percussionist Zayon Morgan will accompany President Jordan on the procession
4:00 – 4:20 p.m. – Program at Commemorative to Enslaved Peoples of Southern Maryland
- Remarks by President Tuajuanda C. Jordan
- Performance by St. Mary’s College of Maryland Chamber Singers and members of the Southern Maryland Community Gospel Choir (Larry Vote, director and professor of music; Sherri Fenwick and Rie Moore, accompanists)
- Remarks by William “BJ” Hall, president of St. Mary’s County NAACP
- The procession will pause to reflect at the Commemorative site and hear the spoken word poetry that sides the Commemorative
4:20 – 5:00 p.m. – Procession of Dignity from the Commemorative to the Waterfront
- Percussionist Jonathan Zuff will play the chimes near Montgomery Hall during the procession from the Commemorative to the Waterfront
- Along the way, the procession will honor those who resisted at the first documented site of such resistance
5:00 p.m. – Waterfront Ceremony
- At the River Center beach along the St. Mary’s River, the lives of those enslaved will be honored with a reading of the enslaved names, candle lighting, libation, remembrance and reflection
- Blessings offered by The Right Reverend Mariann Edgar Budde, Bishop (Episcopal Diocese of Washington), Father Larry Swick (St Cecilia’s Church)
- Libation ceremony led by Dr. Francine Dove Hawkins
- Performance by the First Missionary Baptist Church Male Chorus
- Names of the enslaved read by Joshua Ajanaku and Sean Kratoville-Lavelle
5:30 p.m. – The Reception of Reflection
- Following the Waterfront Ceremony, St. Mary’s College would like to invite all participants in the walk for some refreshments and reflections on The Sacred Journey.
- Reflections by President Jordan, Dylan Parham (Black Student Union and Student Body vice president), Lewis C. Roderick Jr. (field representative with the Office of U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, D-Md.), Terrance Taylor (district director with the Office of Congressman Steny Hoyer, D-Md.)
Parking is available at various locations including Trinity Church (D), Historic St. Mary’s City (A), Kent Hall (E), Trinity Church Parish Hall (G), Guam (T) and at the Jamie L. Roberts Stadium.
Sacred Journey Steering Committee
- Chair Garrey Dennie, associate professor of history
- Kelsey Bush, chief diversity officer
- Julia King, professor of anthropology
- Ellen Kohl, assistant professor of environmental studies
- Erin Peters, director of Boyden Gallery and Collection and lecturer for museum studies
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in The Panel Of Remembrance And Reverence do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.