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Enslavement Acknowledgement

The statement below was developed by a committee of faculty and staff with input from The 1856 Project. It may be used at events or other spaces as deemed appropriate.

UMD's Land Acknowledgement may also be of interest.

University of Maryland Enslavement Acknowledgement

We, at the University of Maryland, recognize and honor the exploited labor of forcefully enslaved people upon which the foundations of the United States and our institution were built.

Enslaved people of African descent farmed, paved, maintained, and developed the land on which our university stands today. Through intergenerational resistance, leadership and a steadfast pursuit of freedom and justice, their descendants fought and continue to fight for a societal transformation in defiance of the profound injustices of the transatlantic trade, chattel slavery, convict leasing, Jim Crow laws, dehumanization and the caste system that permeates our existence. They desegregated and integrated our classrooms and now lead our university and Maryland Terps forward to achieving a better world.

We are forever indebted to the unwilling generational sacrifices and stolen labor of the enslaved Africans and their descendants. Together, we will strive to atone, heal and uplift the unbreakable spirit and beauty of Black Americans.

Enslavement Acknowledgement Committee

  • Jennifer D. Roberts, Associate Professor, Kinesiology, School of Public Health
  • Mouhanad Al Rifay, Program Administrative Specialist, The 1856 Project, Office of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Dina Borzekowski, Research Professor, Behavioral and Community Health Director, Global Health Initiative, School of Public Health
  • Nicole Marie Cousin-Gossett, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Education, School of Public Health
  • Beth Douthirt Cohen, Faculty Specialist, School of Public Health
  • John E. Drabinski, Professor, African American Studies Department
  • Craig S. Fryer, Associate Professor and Interim Chair, Behavioral and Community Health, School of Public Health
  • Kimberly Anne Griffin, Professor and Dean of the College of Education
  • Erin McClure, Assistant Dean for Diversity and Chief of Staff, School of Public Health
  • Rashawn Ray, Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology
  • Joseph B Richardson, MPower Professor of African American Studies, African American Studies Department
  • Elaine Rudder, Assistant Program Director of Human Resources, School of Public Health
  • Jeanette Cristine Snider, Assistant Research Professor, Department of Sociology
  • Mary Taylor-Lewis, Senior Faculty Specialist, College of Education
  • Typhanye Vielka Dyer, Associate Professor, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health
  • Psyche A Williams-Forson, Professor and Chair, Department of American Studies



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