The Common Ground Initiative
Resilience, Remembrance, Honor, and Equity
The mission of Historic Sotterley’s continuing initiative, Common Ground, is to:
- Bring together descendants, community, and partners to provide education, resources, remembrance, and celebrate cultures to aid in healing
- Help uncover and eradicate racism and discrimination in all forms
- Promote social equality and justice through the interpretation of authentic history and its relevance to effect social change
- Encourage individual and group activism
Sotterley is grateful to the Maryland Heritage Area Authority for a generous grant for our 2020 Common Ground Initiative. If you would like to support our mission and future programming, please donate below.
Common Ground 2021 Programming
Now in its fourth year, Sotterley’s Common Ground programming continues in 2021. The Theme: Transcending Barriers Toward Healing, was developed last year through Sotterley educational development and vetted and approved by an advisory group of scholars, content experts, and community leaders. Always relevant, its necessity is even more acute during this time of multiple crises in our nation.
Event Schedule with links here. Virtual access.
Common Ground 2021 Programming Calendar
The Big Picture: Facebook Live with Jeanne Pirtle
Every Thursday at 2:00 PM EST
LINKS with Jerome Spears
January 20 – 7:00 p.m. EST
Journal of a Librarian Who Went to Prison for Money with Glennor Shirley
February 17 – 7:00 PM EST
Co-sponsored by St. Mary's County Public Library
A Question of Freedom with Dr. William G. Thomas III
March 3 – 7:00 PM EST
Archaeology at Historic Sotterley
An archaeological site survey was conducted at Sotterley last year. The survey report will be completed sometime later this summer. Sotterley's archaeological assets are many and reveals life at Sotterley, especially of the African American people that were here in the early 19th century where evidence suggests quarters pre-dating Sotterley's existing cabin. There is documented evidence that African Americans were buried at Sotterley during and after slavery, but more research and archaeological work is needed to confirm grave sites, although it is highly likely there are some. Until confirmation, signage will be placed with maps of testing locations, along with names of people we know were buried at Sotterley, and seating for reflection will be installed. As more research is done, information will be updated and our community and stakeholders will be consulted.
Join Sotterley's Descendant Registry
Become a member of the Descendants Committee
Share Sotterley's story with other family members
Write your story of discovery for the Descendants Newsletter
Discover your origins, take a DNA test
Make a gift in honor or memory of one of your ancestors
Name a permanent bench in Historic Sotterley in memory of your ancestor
Make a provision in your Will to honor your ancestor's legacy