Here at Universities Studying Slavery (USS) headquarters, we are still catching up on a very active spring and summer. Even as the pandemic swept through the country and exerted a profound impact on colleges and universities, schools continued to contact us, join the growing movement of coming to terms with slavery and racism in institutional pasts, and share with the consortium their findings, their programs, and their challenges. Please welcome the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) to the team!
In accepting the invitation to join Universities Studying Slavery (USS), CCBC President Sandra L. Kurtinitis indicated the school had recently completed a $6.5 million comprehensive renovation of the historic Hilton Mansion on its CCBC Catonsville campus. The mansion, which pre-dates the Civil War, has been an area landmark for nearly two centuries. Until the recent renovation, the structure was underutilized and its history as a site of African American enslavement under-acknowledged.
Now, as the new home of CCBC’s Global Education and Honors Programs, the Hilton Center has garnered student interest, campus, and community-wide attention. Within that context, the college is committed to confronting its own past entanglement in human bondage and the many legacies of that history with an eye toward reconciliation and repair.
Since the new Hilton Center opened in 2018, CCBC has hosted walking tours of campus historic sites, lectures, a photography exhibit, bus tours of regional sites relevant to African American history, film screenings, field trips, and an annual forum examining the antebellum history of the local community, as part of CCBC’s “Invisible History” Commemoration event series.
With a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, we will expand the “Invisible History” series and engage students more directly in undergraduate research related to campus and regional history. CCBC is excited to expand its connections to other colleges and universities engaged in this important work. The CCBC Project is led by Dr. Natasha Cole-Leonard (Associate Professor of English) and includes Assistant Professor of Sociology Dr. Myron Strong, Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies Professor Michelle Wright, History Instructor Joshua Ackerman, Library Services Collection Development Coordinator Ms. Elizabeth Godwin, Dean of Special Academic Programs Dr. Monica Walker, and Dean of Wellness, Education, Behavioral & Social Sciences Dr. Timothy Davis.
Please welcome the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) to Universities Studying Slavery (USS)!