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2024 Descendants Day at Highland

June 8 @ 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Join us on Saturday, June 8 for Descendants Day at Highland. Doors open at 10:00 a.m. with programming from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Highland Council of Descendant Advisors welcomes anyone working on or interested in the histories of slavery, the shared work of making our present and future more equitable based on historical knowledge, and collaboration in research. Plan to share information, resources, and encouragement with others journeying on the same path. Space is available to display your community’s resources and stories. This event is free and open to the public. Follow the link below to register:


2024 Descendants Day Schedule of Events

10:00 AM: Doors open to the public

11:00 AM: Call to Order

11:15 AM: Keynote Speaker – Dr. Doretha Williams, National Museum of African American History and Culture

12:00 PM: Grace and Invitation to Lunch

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Lunch, Exhibit Engagement and Networking

2:00 PM: Descendant Updates from Community Partners

2:20 PM: Musical Selection – M.C. Jones Family Singers

2:30 PM: Sheila Arnold – Historical Performance followed by Q&A

3:30 PM: Musical Selections – Ava Gardner, Chris Lewis

3:40 PM: Calling of Names

4:00 PM: Adjourn

*all events located in the Hilltop Pavilion at Highland.

Featured Performer, Sheila Arnold

Sheila Arnold has a talent for storytelling, a passion for history, and compassion for people. She provides Storytelling, Historic Character Presentations, Christian Monologues, and Professional Development for schools, festivals, churches, and organizations nationally and internationally. She is co-founder and Artistic Director of Artists Standing Strong Together (ASST) a source of inspiration, strength and action in the storytelling and artists world. Sheila has been honored as a 2021 MacDowell Artist Fellow, a 2020 Mt. Vernon Research Fellow and a 2019 Hewnoaks Artist Colony summer residence Noted Artist. Sheila lives in Hampton, VA near her son, grandsons, and parents.


Special thanks to Mortimer & Ruth Caplin and the Caplin Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Tom Chapman and the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society, Virginia Tent Rental, and MS Events for supporting Descendants Day at Highland.





June 8
11:00 am - 4:00 pm


James Monroe’s Highland
2050 James Monroe's Highland
Charlottesville, VA 22902
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