About the Project

“We will develop memorials in Oxford and Atlanta that will create understanding and inspire reflection for generations to come.”

Emory President Gregory L. Fenves
President Gregory L. Fenves announced the reappointment and expansion of the Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations in October 2020. In their report, delivered on April 1, 2021, the task force proposed a number of recommendations to memorialize enslaved persons who helped build Emory's original campus at Oxford and others whose efforts have not been fully acknowledged by the university as well as to develop educational programs about Emory's history.  

At the request of President Fenves, and following years of work by descendants, community leaders, and members of the Emory community, the university’s Twin Memorials Working Group recommended a plan for memorials that will articulate and interconnect the shared histories of the Atlanta and Oxford campuses in a meaningful and impactful way. Read the Twin Memorials Working Group report. 

Project Timeline

Spring 2021

In their final report, the Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations advised that “twin” memorials be constructed on the Oxford and Atlanta campuses. 

Fall 2021

The Twin Memorials Working Group was established and charged with engaging the community to develop plans for “twin” memorials. 

Spring 2022

The design firm Baskervill was hired to lead the first phase of public engagement. Listening sessions were held on the Atlanta and Oxford campuses, as well as off-campus, with descendants in the Oxford and Atlanta communities.

Community Engagement

  • Twenty-six listening sessions were held in Atlanta and Oxford.
  • More than 225 descendants, students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, and community partners shared their thoughts, ideas, and impressions about the memorials.
Members of a listening session watching a presentation

Fall 2022

The community was invited to review design concepts developed from the input collected from the first phase.  

Spring 2023

Incorporating the insights from the engagement phase led by the Twin Memorials Working Group, a request for proposals (RFP) is released to identify a design team to further develop the design concepts and construct the memorial. 

Fall 2023

Hood Design Studio begins holding listening sessions with campus constituencies including descendants, students, faculty, staff, and civic leaders using its MAPPS process—materials, activities, places, people, and stories to launch the creative process.

Spring 2024

Walter Hood and Hood Design Studio staff returned to Emory and presented 29 “emerging ideas” at twin showcases on the Oxford and Atlanta campuses, March 27 and 28, respectively. Visitors were able to view models and renderings of ideas for the Twin Memorials and an artist’s rationale for each. They were asked to complete a survey outlining their favorite and least favorite “provocations,” as the concepts were called. In his remarks at a reception for each event, Hood stressed that these were ideas only and subject to major changes in their final state. The showcase was open to the community through April 12.

Oxford College Emerging Ideas Showcase

Twin Memorials Working Group

In June 2021, the Twin Memorials Working Group was charged with implementing a plan for memorials that would commemorate the shared history of the university's Atlanta and Oxford campuses by President Fenves. The working group was led by (pictured, l to r) Gregory C. Ellison II 99C, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Candler School of Theology; Carol Henderson, chief diversity officer, vice provost for diversity, equity, and inclusion and advisor to the president; and Molly McGehee 07PhD, associate professor of English and American studies, associate dean for faculty development, and director of the Center for Teaching and Scholarship at Oxford College.

More about the Process
Gregory Ellison, Carol Henderson, and Molly McGehee

Share Your Thoughts

Community input and participation continue to be essential to the development of Twin Memorials. We'd like to hear your thoughts on the project.

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