Systemic racism is built into this country, and what was once codified in law now manifests as inequity, discrimination, and even violence. To confront it we must look back at the past and inside ourselves.
This Fall, Leadership Greater Washington, in partnership with the Greater Washington Community Foundation and TD Bank, will offer a series of immersive DMV Bridge Journeys to reveal the racial history of our region through the lens of landmark visits, powerful speakers, and personal reflection. This isn’t simply a history lesson, but an opportunity to use revelations about our history to inform and recalibrate attitudes around racial justice and reconciliation. These are action-focused journeys that examine accountabilities and challenge personal change. They are a call for all leaders to confront the realities of racism in our region and in themselves.
The DMV Bridge Journey will consist of three guided trips to historical landmarks on Maryland’s Eastern Shore; Richmond, VA; and Washington, DC. Activists and local historians will provide context and illumination at these sites, and participants will be provided the space to reflect on new learnings and visualize action-centered approaches to racial change.
The Maryland experience will begin the process of revealing the history of racial injustice in the DMV region. Through the stories of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, along with some of the lesser known, but important figures in racial history, we will explore the long history of resistance within the African American community. The Maryland learning experience will feature the communities of Easton and Cambridge and various locations in Talbot and Dorchester Counties.
The agenda will be a single day trip, beginning at 9:00 am and concluding in late afternoon/early evening. Cambridge and Dorchester County site visits may include but are not limited to:
The Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center, the Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center (featuring Michael Rosato’s “outreached hand” mural), Malone’s Church, Brodess Farm, and the Bucktown Village Store – all sites of importance to understanding Harriet Tubman and her efforts to get the enslaved to freedom. Easton and Talbot County site visits may include but are not limited to the Talbot County Courthouse (location of Douglass’ jail cell, the Frederick Douglass statue, and the Talbot County Boys monument) and Covey’s Landing (closest point to Douglass’ birthplace)
As the capital of the Confederacy, Richmond is strongly rooted in racial discord and a racial history that continues to impact the city and has implications across the country. The Richmond experience will offer continuing revelations, but will move into reflection and recalibration, looking at what leaders in Richmond have done and are continuing to do to address racial injustice in the city. The agenda will span two days (overnight in Richmond) and will serve multiple functions, including historical site visits as well as networking and relationship building. Richmond site visits may include but are not limited to:
The Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (site of Kehinde Wiley’s equestrian statue Rumors of War), the Emancipation and Freedom Monument on Brown's Island, and Monument Avenue (former site of the Robert E. Lee, J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, and Matthew Fontaine Maury monuments glorifying the Lost Cause). Speakers for the Virginia immersive learning experience will be identified for their ability to convey objective historical facts and address the history of white supremacy, white power structures and systems, and the role that physical structures and monuments played in maintaining white supremacy. Speakers may also address the roles of misinformation, disinformation, education, and culture in relation to efforts to maintain white supremacy
The final day of the learning journey will feature a morning tour of historical sites before culminating at the National Cathedral. The program will be a single day trip, beginning at 9:00 am and concluding in the afternoon. Speakers for the Washington, DC learning experience will be identified for their ability to convey objective historical facts and for their ability to address the actions that are being taken in the region to right the legacy of slavery for their ability to convey objective historical facts and for their ability to address the actions that are being taken in the region to right the legacy of slavery and to promote racial accountability and justice.
Leadership Greater Washington would like to extend our thanks to our partners for their generous support of the DMV Bridge Journeys program: