Twin Memorials Working Group


President Fenves announced the reappointment and expansion of the Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations in October 2020. In their report delivered on April 1, 2021, the Task Force proposed a number of recommendations to memorialize enslaved persons who labored to build Emory's original campus at Oxford and others whose labor has not been fully acknowledged by the university, as well as to develop educational programs about Emory's history. 

In a letter to the Emory community on June 28, 2021, President Fenves announced the establishment of the Twin Memorials Working Group to move forward and implement a plan for memorials that will articulate and interconnect the shared histories of the Emory and Oxford campuses.


Building on the recommendations from the report of the Task Force on Untold Stories and Disenfranchised Populations, materials in the Emory Libraries, and relevant and available scholarship, the Twin Memorials Working Group is charged with:

  • drafting a Request for Proposals for architectural firms to design and construct Twin Memorials to honor the enslaved individuals and their descendants who lived and worked on the original campus of Emory at Oxford College;
  • developing plans for continued memorialization of Emory’s enslaved laborers through annual events, campus-wide programming, orientation for new students to the Oxford and Atlanta campuses, and recognition of those who continued to work on the Atlanta and Oxford campuses following emancipation; and
  • collaborating with various stakeholders to develop initiatives that contribute to making Emory’s past known to internal and external audiences.

President Fenves appointed, as chairs of the working group, Douglas Hicks, dean of Oxford College and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Religion, and Gregory Ellison II 99C, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Candler School of Theology.

The working group will coordinate community input, facilitate the review of architectural firms with a design concept for the Twin Memorials, and present recommendations to the president. 

Community Engagement Dates

  • February 3—Oxford College staff, Phi Gamma Hall, 2:30–4:00 p.m.
  • February 3—Descendant community, Mt. Zion Baptist Church, Oxford, Georgia, 5:30–7:00 p.m.
  • February 4—Oxford College students, Mural Room, Student Center, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
  • February 4—Oxford staff and faculty, Phi Gamma Hall, 3:30–5:00 p.m.
  • February 17—Descendant community, Oxford College Student Center, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
  • February 17—Oxford College students, Student Center, 8:00–9:30 p.m.
  • February 18—Emory undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students, Candler School of Theology, Rita Anne Rollins Building, 1531 Dickey Drive, Theology Room 360, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
  • February 18—Campus Life staff, Emory Student Center, Multipurpose Rooms 2–3, 605 Asbury Circle, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
  • February 24—Virtual meeting open to all communities, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
  • March 3—Virtual Focus Group, Zoom link provided upon registration, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
  • March 16—Atlanta Community and Emory Alumni Focus Group, Ebenezer Baptist Church, lunch provided, (Noon–1:30 p.m.
  • March 16—Student Focus Group, Cox Hall, 3rd Floor, 7:00–8:30 p.m.
  • March 17—Faculty Focus Group, Woodruff Library, Jones Room, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
  • March 24—Virtual Focus Group, Zoom link provided upon registration, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
  • March 30—Atlanta Community and Emory Alumni Focus Group, Manuel’s Tavern, 6:00–7:30 p.m.
  • March 31—Staff, Faculty, and Student Focus Group, Woodruff Library, Jones Room, 3:30–5:00 p.m.
  • March 31—Student Focus Group, Student Center, Multipurpose Rooms 2 and 3, lunch provided, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Register to Participate

Working Group Report

The Twin Memorials Working Committee presented a full report to President Fenves, but they shared the report's executive summary with the community. In addition, the Emory News Center covered the committee's work in a June 2021 story.

Read the Executive Summary

Working Group Membership


Email the chairs

Gregory Ellison II 99C
Associate professor of pastoral care and counseling, Candler School of Theology

Bio of Professor Ellison

Douglas Hicks
Dean and William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Religion, Oxford College

Bio of Dean Hicks

Tayari JonesCharles Howard Candler Professor of English and Creative Writing
Molly McGehee 07PhDAssociate Dean for Faculty Development, Director of the Oxford Center for Teaching and Scholarship, and Associate Professor of English and American Studies
Walter RuckerProfessor, Department of African American Studies and History

Rachel DingPresident, Student Government Association
Emma SveenPresident, Graduate Student Government Association

James JohnsonUniversity Landscape Architect

Enku GelayeSenior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life
Joe MoonDean for Campus Life

Avis Williams 78Ox 98C 08T 18TCommunity Liaison, Putnam County Charter School System

Jonathan ButlerFormer president of Emory Alumni Board
Yolanda CooperDean, University Libraries
Carol HendersonVice Provost for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Chief Diversity Officer; and Adviser to the President
Rev. Gregory W. McGonigleUniversity Chaplain and Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life
Robin MoreyVice President and Chief Planning Officer of Campus Services
David M. SchusterChair, University Public Art Committee

Sarah DobbsExecutive Administrative Assistant, Oxford College