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 2020 Programming
Now in its third year, Sotterley’s Common Ground programming continues in 2020. The Theme: Transcending Barriers to Common Ground, 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 2020 Programming Calendar
The Big Picture: Facebook Live with Jeanne Pirtle
Every Thursday at 2:00 PM EST
Transcending Generations Through Story Telling with Wanda Etheridge
Aug. 21 – 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST
Transcending Narrative and The Art of Healing with Merideth Taylor
Aug. 22 – 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST
UNESCO Day of Remembrance
Aug. 23 – 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST
Speaker Series: The Life and Legacy of Harriet Tubman
with Angela Crenshaw, Maryland Park Ranger
Sep. 16 – 7:00 PM EST
Enslaved Ancestral Research with Kenyatta Berry, Genealogist
Sept. 18 – 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST
Leveraging DNA in your Research with Kenyatta Berry, Genealogist
Sept. 19 – 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM EST
The Power of Us: What Happens When Historical Narratives
Are Corrected? With Christy Coleman
Oct. 14 - 7 p.m.
Book discussion: In Relentless Pursuit of
an Education: Community Conversations on Race
Nov. 17 - 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.
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