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Lemon Project Symposium to focus on 'learning from difference'

  • Learning from Difference
    Learning from Difference  The College of William & Mary's second annual Lemon Project Spring Symposium is slated for March 17. The event will center on the theme of "The Journey Continues: Learning from Difference." Here, participants enjoy a session during last year's symposium.  Photo by Randall Taylor, Swem Media Center
  • Lemon Symposium
    Lemon Symposium  Last year's Lemon Symposium included a panel discussion with (left to right) Kimberley Phillips (moderator), Amy Schindler, Edith Heard and Andrew Ojeda '12.  Photo by Randall Taylor, Swem Media Center
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The College of William & Mary’s second annual Lemon Project Spring Symposium is slated for March 17 at the Bruton Heights School in Williamsburg, Va.

The event centers on the theme of “The Journey Continues: Learning from Difference” and will feature a number of presentations and panel discussions on topics ranging from Jim Crow education in Williamsburg to interracial relationships in Virginia. The symposium is free and open to the public; however, registration is required.

“We are looking forward to the learning, sharing, and fellowshipping between the campus and community,” Lemon Project Managing Director and Co-Chair Jody L. Allen.

The day’s public sessions will begin at 9:30 a.m. with remarks by Allen and William & Mary Provost Michael Halleran.

Following those remarks, a panel discussion about Jim Crow education in Williamsburg will be held, moderated by Robert F. Engs, visiting distinguished professor and Lemon Project consulting scholar. The panel members will include: Vivian Brown Bland, Bruton Heights School Class of 1952; Wilbert Hunter, Bruton Heights School teacher and coach; and Selma Mitchell Harriod, Bruton Heights School Class of 1965.

That session will be followed by a choice of three panel discussions which will take place between 11:15 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

The first panel will be chaired by Jackson Sasser, visiting assistant professor of government. The topics will include "The Rockefeller's Colonial Williamsburg Dream and the African-American Community,” presented by William & Mary student Danielle Greene ’12; “African Americans in the News at the College of William & Mary: 100 Years of Flat Hat History,” presented by Sebastian Kreindel ’12; and A Persistent Romance: The Progress of Interracial Relationships in Virginia,” presented by Andrew Ojeda ’12.

The second panel will be chaired by Betsy Schlabach, visiting assistant professor of history and American studies. The topics will include “The Early Development of William Short's Abolitionism,” presented by John P. Mohler ’12; and “Property and People: The Construction of James Monroe’s View on Slavery,” presented by William F. Rison ’12.

The third midday panel will be chaired by Meghan Holder, Lemon Project fellow and doctoral student in American studies. The topics will include “In the Shadow of the Wren Building: Archaeological Perspectives on Slavery at the College of William and Mary,” presented by Stephanie Bergman, doctoral student in anthropology; "Creating Her World with Her Words: The Letters and Speeches of Maggie L. Walker," presented by Matthew Caterine ’12; and "Reconstructing History at William and Mary," presented by Terry Meyers, Chancellor Professor of English and Lemon Project Co-Chair.

Following lunch, William & Mary President Taylor Reveley will provide remarks after being introduced by Francis Tanglao-Aguas, associate professor of theatre.

At 1:30 p.m., Colonial Williamsburg Interpreter Emily James will present a portrayal of Edith Cumbo, a free black woman who lived in Williamsburg in the 18th century.

After James’ performance, symposium participants will have a chance to ask the Lemon Project co-chairs, Allen and Meyers, questions about the project. William & Mary launched the Lemon Project in 2009. The long-term research project aims to explore the College’s history with slavery and its relationship with the African-American community following the Civil War. The project is named after a slave whom the College owned in the 18th century.

Following that Q&A session, William & Mary’s Ebony Expressions Gospel Choir will perform under the direction of Cienna Wesley.

The day will end at 4 p.m. when Meyers presents closing remarks.

Approximately 100 people attended last year’s Lemon Project Spring Symposium, which centered on the theme of “From Slavery toward Reconciliation: African Americans and the College.”

For more information about this year’s symposium and to register, visit