The Witness Stones Project™ is an educational initiative whose mission is to restore the history and honor the humanity of the enslaved individuals who helped build our communities.
The Project provides local archival research, professional teacher development, a classroom curriculum, and public programming to help students discover and chronicle the local history of slavery. The final component of the work in each community is the placement of Witness Stone Memorials™ that honor enslaved individuals where they lived, worked, or worshiped.
Inspired by the Stolpersteine project, and with its blessing, the Project began in Guilford, Connecticut, in 2017, and became a 501(c)(3) in October 2019. In five years, the Project has partnered with 103 schools, churches, and civic organizations in across 5 states. More than 11,000 middle and high school students and their communities have participated in the Project.
The Project has been lauded as a rigorous and transformative program. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro praised it for “bringing together the community to learn, to heal, and to grow,” while Connecticut Department of Education Social Studies Coordinator Stephen Armstrong described it as “the perfect program for what we would like to promote at the State Department of Education.” In 2022, the Project was honored by Connecticut Explored as a Game Changer that “advances the way we study, interpret, and disseminate Connecticut history.”
We have partnered with Central Connecticut State University to support our research and curriculum development, and with the Northeast Slavery Records Index to archive and share our research.
The Project has been supported financially by school fees, individual donations, local grants, and countless volunteer hours. We are now seeking philanthropic support so that we can continue reach every interested community, regardless of the local resources. Our vision is communities committed to learning their history, dismantling current inequities, and building a just future.