Witness Stones Installation - Memorializing Sylvie and Cuffe Torrey, enslaved community members

Witness Stones Installation - Memorializing Sylvie and Cuffe Torrey, enslaved community members

Witness Stones Installation - Memorializing Sylvie and Cuffe Torrey, enslaved community members
Monday, June 5, 2023 at 1:30 PM to 2:30 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Kingston Congregational Church
2610 Kingstown Road
Kingston, RI 02881

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Jan Gregory-Charpentier

On Monday, June 5th, at 1:30, Rhode Island's first "Witness Stones" will be installed in a public ceremony in historic Kingston Village on the grounds of the Kingston Congregational Church. The Witness Stones Project, Inc. is a non-profit, public history project, that works with local communities to "restore the history and honor the humanity of enslaved individuals who helped build our communities" (www.witnessstonesproject.org). Begun by founder and Executive Director, Dennis Culliton, in Guilford, CT, just five years ago, the Witness Stones Project has now spread to five states and installed over 170 stone markers with the names and life facts of enslaved community members. The installation of two more Witness Stones in Kingston will be the first installed in Rhode Island and will remember Cuffee and Sylvie Torrey. The former, Cuffee Torrey, was enslaved by the first minister of what is now the Kingston Congregational Church, the Rev. Dr. Joseph Torrey, hence the significance and import of the placement of these stones.

The installation ceremony on June 5th, coming two weeks before "Juneteenth," provides an overdue public acknowledgement of the presence and importance of Cuffee and Sylvie, and by extension other enslaved community members, in Kingston Village and South Kingstown. Coming alongside other important efforts to restore the history of slavery in Rhode Island, like Rhode Island Slave Medallions, the Witness Stones Project in Kingston brings together the local community--town, school, church--to "tell a better story" of our past and seeks to live into a better future together, learning from, not ignoring, the story of slavery in our hometown.

The installation ceremony on June 5th, 1:30 pm, at Kingston Congregational Church, 2610 Kingstown Road, Kingston, will be attended by Witness Stones Project participants, local officials, featured speakers, including Governor Daniel McKee, and school students from The Compass School, Kingston, who have been learning about the history of local slavery by studying the lives of Sylvie and Cuffee Torrey.

Please see www.kingcongchurch.org/witness-stones-project for the full scope of the Kingston Witness Stones Project. Please see attached flier announcing the Installation Ceremony.

Further information available and any press/media contacts by replying to this email or calling Rev. Dr. Jan Gregory-Charpentier, 774.573.8079.

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Attached Files

witness stones installation flyer-1.pdf

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