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US: Past, Present, Future

We’re excited to invite you to US: Past, Present, Future, a national conversation series exploring the vital intersection of current events, our shared history, and the enduring promises of America.

Join us this year for monthly virtual conversations, including two cornerstone events.

First Up

January 16 at 4 p.m.

CW Conversation: Religious Freedom

Religion is an important part of our communities and identity as Americans. Join us to discuss the role of one of the country’s earliest African American congregations and churches like it in shaping communities.

Whether you’re looking to read up on the this topic before joining the conversation, or want some further reading afterward, here’s our recommended reading:

  • Under guidance of today’s church community, our archaeology team is working to uncover and identify any structures that may have served as an early meeting space for the congregation that would come to be known as the First Baptist Church. Learn about our First Baptist Church archaeology project and read an update on the first phase of excavation.
  • Meet Gowan Pamphlet, the founder of Williamsburg’s First Baptist Church. Read about the journey of this enslaved tavern worker who risked his well-being to preach equality and secretly preach to fellow enslaved and free Black believers, and watch a livestream with Reverand Gowan Pamphlet, interpreted by James Ingram.
  • Read about Jefferson’s Bill for Religion Freedom in the Autumn 2018 issue of Trend & Tradition magazine.
  • Read about the Let Freedom Ring Foundation and the ringing of the Williamsburg’s First Baptist Church bell in the Winter 2016 issue of Trend & Tradition magazine.

Click below to join the livestream event.


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Submit a Question for the Conversation*

*This form is used to gather audience questions to ask our panel during the program. Your information will not be used to contact you.

2021 Conversation Schedule

  • February 20 at 4 p.m. — CW Conversation: Residents Not Citizens
  • March 20 at 4 p.m. —CW Conversation: A Woman’s Place
  • April 17 at 4 p.m. — Cornerstone Event: What Does Citizenship Mean as an American?
  • May 15 at 4 p.m. — CW Conversation: United Colonies
  • June 19 at 4 p.m. — CW Conversation: Juneteenth
  • July 17 at 4 p.m. — CW Conversation: Nation Builders
  • August 21 at 4 p.m. — CW Conversation: Business and Politics
  • September 18 at 4 p.m. — CW Conversation: Education
  • October 16 at 4 p.m. — Cornerstone Event: Are Our Founding Ideals Achievable?
  • November 20 at 4 p.m. — CW Conversation: American Indian Heritage Month
  • December 18 at 4 p.m. — CW Conversation: Preservation