Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
William & Mary W&M menu close William & Mary

Call for Proposals

William & Mary
The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation
14th Annual Lemon Project Spring Symposium, March 22-23, 2024
In-Person and Virtual Event


Taking Our Time: Healing Through Black History, Family, and Communities

Individual papers or panels of 3 or 4 are welcome

About The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation

Founded in 2009, the Lemon Project is the second institutionally funded project of its kind in the United States. The Lemon Project is a multifaceted and dynamic attempt to rectify wrongs perpetrated against African Americans by William & Mary through action or inaction. An ongoing endeavor, The Lemon Project explores and encourages scholarship on the 330-year relationship between African Americans and William & Mary. The Lemon Project builds bridges between William & Mary and African American communities through research, programming, and supporting students, faculty, and staff.

Call for Proposals

For three hundred years, we've given them time. And I've been tired so long, now I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, and we want a change. We want a change in this society in America because, you see, we can no longer ignore the facts and getting our children to sing, "Oh say can you see, by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed." What do we have to hail here? The truth is the only thing going to free us.  ̶  Fannie Lou Hamer, “I’m Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired,” Speech Delivered at the Williams Institutional CME Church, Harlem, December 20, 1964

Building on our last symposium that broadly focused on Black life, history, and culture, we draw inspiration from Fannie Lou Hamer’s words for our 2024 conference as we reflect on historical and current practices of self and communal healing. As Hamer notes, the time and existence of Black people in America are marked by a struggle for freedom that yielded many triumphs but also has exhausted generations resulting in diminished well-being and untimely loss of Black lives. 

The 2024 theme, “Taking Our Time: Healing Through Black History, Family, and Communities,” explores ways Black people are overcoming the generational trauma of slavery and its legacies. We believe there is strength in gathering to discuss and enact healing and reclamation practices. In the words of Tricia Hersey, author and founder of the Nap Ministry, the legacy of exhaustion stops with us. We invite you into this timely gathering that we hope will catalyze change that liberates.

The 2024 Spring Symposium will explore the following questions: How do we draw from the knowledge of past justice seekers and healers to repair our communities? How do we take time to engage in healing practices? What will Black futures look like as we create space for healing transgenerational trauma tied to discrimination and racial violence? What can institutions do to reduce harm inflicted on Black and people of color? How do we get the country to acknowledge and address the continuing harm of past atrocities?

Our symposium is multi-disciplinary and open to all. We seek proposals from people who explore Black resistance, healing, and reclamation, including but not limited to academic and descendant researchers and historians, educators, genealogists, activists, spiritual practitioners, and members of Greater Williamsburg communities and beyond. We invite a broad range of topics from the fields of American Studies, Black Studies, Anthropology, History, Public Humanities, Preservation, and STEM. We also invite community organizers, activists, and wellness practioners to submit proposals in areas such as cultural production (art, poetry, music), wellness, and spirituality.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
  • Black healers and ancestral health practices
  • Black family reunions, gathering spaces, and events
  • Black LGBTQ+ community activism
  • Black leisure and entertainment activities
  • Mental and emotional health in Black communities
  • Black spirituality, homegoings, and homecomings
  • Black healing through land, space, and ancestral ties
  • Black ecologies and environmental work
  • Family histories of strength, overcoming, and perseverance
  • Black memory and community healing practices
  • Black Joy movement
  • Racial battle fatigue in higher education
  • Gardening and food production
  • Family histories, local histories, and genealogical studies
  • Reparations and reparative efforts

For questions about the 14th Annual Lemon Project Spring Symposium and/or the Call for Proposals, email Lemon Project Associate Director Sarah Thomas at [[w|setho2]].

Moderator Interest

Are you interested in being involved in the Symposium but are not interested in presenting? Consider serving as a moderator at the 14th Annual Lemon Project Symposium. It requires a 2-hour time commitment, and the details will be arranged over email. We ask that moderators serve in this role in person in Williamsburg, Virginia, as we are currently unable to accept virtual moderators. Indicate your interest to serve as a moderator here.

Proposal Submission Guidelines

We accept submissions from both individuals and from panels of 3-4 people.

Guidelines for a Submission from an Individual

Complete your submission by applying here no later than October 22, 2023 (extended from October 15). Submissions require the following information:

  • Name and Email
  • Institutional or Community Affiliation, if applicable
  • Professional Title, if applicable (Optional—we don’t measure worth with titles)
  • Indicate whether you are a/an: Undergraduate Student, Graduate Student, Professional Student, Community Member, Faculty, Staff, Administrator, Genealogist, or Other

 200-word double-spaced description of your proposal, including:

  • Title
  • Summary (this will be included in the online conference program)
  • Discussion of how your presentation relates to the symposium’s theme, and/or a question that you will attempt to answer and/or a call to action

We also ask that you provide a brief bio (no more than 150 words). This will also be included in the online conference program.

Guidelines for a Submission from a Panel

Complete your submission by applying here no later than October 22, 2023 (extended from October 15). Submissions require the following information:

  • Names and Emails of panelists
  • Name and Email of Panel Moderator
  • Institutional or Community Affiliations, if applicable
  • Professional Titles, if applicable
  • Indicate whether panelists are: Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Professional Students, Community Members, Faculty, Staff, Administrators, Genealogists, or Other

 250-word double-spaced description of your panel, which includes the following:

  • Title of panel
  • Name of panel chair/moderator
  • Panel Summary (this will be included in the online conference program)
  • Discussion of how it relates to the symposium’s theme
  • Question that your panel will attempt to answer and/or a call to action

We ask that you also include a brief biography (no more than 150 words) of each panel participant, including the panel moderator.