Commission On Remembrance and Reconciliation

Commission Events

Remembrance and Reconciliation Month 2022

Rememberence and Reconciliation - November 2022

Preserving Legacies

Resources for Reconciliation - May 14, 2022

In remembrance of three lynchings in Montgomery County (Mr. George W. Peck and Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey in 1880; Mr. Sidney Randolph in 1896), this program seeks to contribute toward reconciliation for African American communities after suffering decades of racial inequities, discrimination and deprivation engendered by these violent acts. It will reveal resources and tools for communities to advocate for themselves and preserve African American historical and cultural legacies. You will learn organizational strategies, how to declare and delineate cemeteries and family burial grounds, and funding possibilities available from local, state, and national sources.

Lynching Symposium

On September 25, 2021, Montgomery History , the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project , and the Montgomery County Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission held a Lynching Symposium recognizing two men who were victims of racial terror lynchings in Montgomery County: Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey and Mr. Sidney Randolph.

Soil Ceremony

On September 26, 2021, as part of Remembrance Weekend, the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project, and the Montgomery County Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission held a soil Remembrance Walk and Soil Ceremony recognizing two men who were the victims of racial terror lynchings in Montgomery County: Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey and Mr. Sidney Randolph. These two men were abducted from the then Montgomery County Jail, now the location of the Montgomery County Council Building. The Remembrance Walk started at the abduction site and proceeded through Rockville to Welsh Park, close in proximity to the known lynching location.


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Montgomery County Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission is calling for this November to be a month of Remembrance and Reconciliation in the County. Engaging in this time of reflection will help County residents grow their understanding of the full history of Montgomery County and how we can move forward from it.

The Commission was established in 2019 to help bring the County together to promote a better understanding of our history. This includes recognition of three men who were the victims of racial terror lynchings in Montgomery County in the late 1800s: Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey, Mr. Sidney Randolph, and Mr. George Peck.

Throughout the month of November, the Commission will partner with organizations like the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project to host events for the community. Scheduled events will include a public arts demonstration, a museum exhibit, a high school student essay contest, keynote speaker and documentary film screening. If you have events you’d like us to add to this list, please submit using this form!

  • October 19 - November 19: It Happened in Rockville: Remembering Two Lynchings Exhibit, timed entry reservations must be made for Mondays & Wednesdays, 10 am to 4 pm, RSVP here and see the event flyer
  • October 31 deadline: Equal Justice Initiative Racial Justice Essay Contest
  • November 5-6Certain Party or Parties Unknown Projection Art Installations,  press release and video preview
  • November 7 at 3 pm: Airing of the Remembrance Conference and Soil Ceremony, watch via  YouTube or Facebook
  • November 15-19: November 15-19: MCPS Students Participate in Student Art Week for K-12 public school students, share your school's artwork on Instagram and Twitter using #MoCoRR to be featured
  • November 19 at 12 pm: Virtual Presentation from Congressman Raskin on  HR40
    - Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, presentation will be followed by a Q&A, register here


Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey was dragged from the county jail and lynched in 1880. Mr. Sidney Randolph, a native of Georgia in his mid-twenties, was lynched in 1896. We believe that by reckoning with the truth of the racial violence that has shaped our communities, we can advance healing and reconciliation. The Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project (MoCoLMP) and the Montgomery County Commission on Remembrance and Reconciliation (MCCRR) will organize events to advance this cause.

On Saturday, there will be a mini-conference co-sponsored by Montgomery History, where three Montgomery County historians will provide the account of the lynchings of Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey and Mr. Sidney Randolph, put those acts in the economic, social, and political context of Montgomery County at that time, and explore the ways in which elements of these murders were replicated in other parts of Maryland and the United States. Get more information about this event and watch the event recording.

On Sunday, a pilgrimage walk will begin at the site of the old county jail (now the County Council Building) where both men were held, traverse portions of the routes taken by the lynch mobs and conclude at Welsh Park for the Soil Collection Ceremony. The ceremony will recognize the traumatic era of lynching, including the collection of soil from near the lynching sites, music, reflections from community leaders and readings by the winners of a racial justice essay contest for high school students. It will conclude with a reception for community fellowship. Get more information about the walk route.


Under the auspices of the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, the Commission on Remembrance and Reconciliation presents a virtual discussion on the impact of lynching and its residual effects, such as racism and implicit bias, that impede access to property ownership.  Redlining imposed by the federal government and prolonged due to systemic racism have deprived black communities of wealth creation. 

Resolution 19-24 adopted on January 29, 2019 by the Montgomery County Council established the Commission for the purpose of reviewing the County’s past and sensitizing our communities to issues of social justice and equity going forward. See legislation here.

The Commission is providing a platform for stakeholders to review the County’s past in order to move toward greater equity and social justice. Join these experts as they navigate the issues from the perspectives of realtors, mortgage financiers, and legislators searching to enhance access to homeownership and serve the public good.

See the event flyer.

Watch the event recording

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