Salisbury- The City of Salisbury and the Salisbury Lynching Memorial Task Force are pleased to announce the partnership between the Task Force and the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), a non-profit organization based in Montgomery, Alabama, who has been committed to ending mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality for over thirty years.
Last week the Equal Justice Initiative approved the Salisbury Lynching Memorial Task Force’s application for a historical marker to commemorate the three Salisbury citizens whose lives were brutally taken from them by racial terror lynching. It is expected that the historical marker will be in place by this coming February 2021. EJI also approved a community soil collection and a racial justice essay contest for students.
“History is alive. It forms our present-day realities and it shapes us into who we are today,” shared Salisbury Lynching Memorial Task Force co-chair, Michaela Moses. “Parts of our past may be hard to accept, but if we can tell the truth about what happened here, we can begin to heal and move forward as a community,” she added.
The Equal Justice Initiative’s Community Remembrance Project partners with communities all over the United States in order to memorialize the victims of racial violence and to start conversations surrounding race, justice, and inequality within communities. The Community Soil Collection Project, one of which will occur here in Salisbury, involves gathering soil at lynching sites, which is then displayed by EJI, bearing the victims names, in educational exhibits about racial violence and injustice.
The Equal Justice Initiative’s essay contest, the details of which will be announced at a later date, focuses on asking local high school students to write an essay that reflects on a historical event and connect that event to present day issues, and the students’ lived experiences. EJI typically chooses 4 to 5 winners and awards a minimum of $5,000 in scholarships and prizes.
Salisbury Lynching Memorial Task Force co-chair, Amber Green, is also working to make sure that the essay contest opportunity is accessible to all high school students who want to participate, such as non-traditional students and those that are homeless or incarcerated.
“It’s important for our community to preserve as much of our history as possible and through the work of this taskforce, we’ve been able to uncover history erased and facilitate tough conversations that will not only bring communities together, but ensure history does not repeat itself,” shared Task Force co-chair, Amber Green.
The Equal Justice Initiative was established in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, and operates based out of Montgomery, Alabama as a non-profit organization. They are committed to starting conversations, shining a light on injustice, and changing the overall narrative about race in our country.
“This project at its core aims to tell the truth about what happened to Salisbury’s lynching victims, the injustices that they suffered right here in our community, and the atrocities that occurred in places that many citizens unknowingly walk or drive past every day,” shared City Administrator Julia Glanz. “The partnership between our incredibly dedicated Task Force and the Equal Justice Initiative will help do just that- tell the truth and memorialize those whose lives were unjustly taken from them,” she added.
To learn more about the work being done by Salisbury’s Lynching Memorial Task Force, please visit mdlynchingmemorial.wixsite.com/wicomico, an informational site put together by the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project.
To learn more about the Equal Justice Initiative, their community projects, and their physical locations and memorial in Alabama, please visit https://eji.org/. Watch EJI and their work in action on their Youtube channel at youtube.com/channel/UCP_8NA5c6br1aHFizoeWSHw