The East Marshall Street Well Project’s Community Engagement Expansion Initiative (Host Institution: Virginia Commonwealth University)


ACLS Sustaining Public Engagement Grants




The VCU East Marshall Street Well (EMSW) Project is a descendant-community-driven effort, implemented to restore dignity to human remains from the nineteenth century and primarily of African descent, discovered in an abandoned well on the MCV Campus. The EMSW Community Engagement Expansion Initiative supports reinvigorating community and VCU faculty involvement in three areas: public education, community research, & on-going public communication around the EMSW's history of structural and medical racism. This work repairs pandemic-related disruptions to implement the existing descendant community (known as the Family Representative Council) recommendations by creating focused and innovative initiatives to restore community engagement momentum. The local partners for this project are: College of William and Mary (W&M) in Williamsburg, W&M anthropologist and FRC member Dr. Joseph Jones, community historian Lenora McQueen, community history educator Ana Edwards, and filmmaker Dr. Shawn Utsey.