~Respondents consistent about dire need to tell the city’s whole story~
In September of 2015, the City of Richmond launched a community conversation about the future of the Lumpkin’s Jail site. Spearheaded by Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the Richmond City Council Slave Trail Commission, the public conversation has reached more than 1,000 individuals through public meetings, classroom visits, in-person engagements, social media and direct outreach.
Additional public meetings are upcoming as the discussion continues. However, a preliminary report is now available detailing the work of the consultant team thus far, and sharing preliminary information that the process has yielded.
“While we know the importance of the Lumpkin’s Jail site to our city’s history, it’s another thing to understand how best to transform that importance to an active site that represents the priorities of the broader community,” said Mayor Jones. “I believe the methodology we have employed is yielding the diverse input of opinion that we desired and especially the input of young people.”
“What I found most exciting were the ideas presented by the community to bring the site to life,” said Delegate Delores McQuinn. “Developing the Lumpkin’s Jail site as a meaningful place that puts our history in proper context is a top priority for the Slave Trail Commission and this process is taking us closer to achieving that.”
Generally, Richmonders want the site to be expansive, to include as much of any other significant vestiges of Richmond’s history as possible. They want the site to be a place that brings community together, where issues of race can be addressed and dialogue can be ongoing while education and scholarship are hallmarks. The site also must be accessible and sustainable.
Upcoming meetings will give participants the opportunity to vote on priorities and recommend next steps. The next public meeting is Dec. 10 at the University of Richmond in the Jepson Alumni Center at 6 p.m. Plans are also underway to present the report to the Virginia State Legislature in January; a key source of funding for the project’s advancement.
To view the draft report, please visit www.richmondspeaksaboutlumpkins.org.