An Invitation to the Youth in our Communities

What is a Witness Stone? In this video you’ll follow Nate (one of our youth leaders) during a morning run in the town of Guilford, Connecticut. He’s looking for Witness Stones that have been placed in the ground where former enslaved people lived, worked, or worshiped to remind local residents that their community was shaped by former enslaved people.

We are a collaboration of churches from across three towns in southwestern Connecticut seeking to explore the history of slavery in colonial Connecticut and honor the humanity of the enslaved individuals who helped build our communities. In a program specially designed for us and led by The Witness Stones Project, Inc., youth will gather with community leaders for three sessions on Wednesday evenings in March 2023 to learn about slavery in New England.

With the assistance of local historian and Wilton archivist Julie Hughes, the Project will provide us with local archival research, youth and leader development, a classroom curriculum, and public programming to help students discover and chronicle the local history of slavery. Youth and their leaders will then meet for three sessions on Sundays in April to compose narratives through story, music, drama, poetry, and/or video to tell the story of an enslaved person through these primary documents. (Youth from Westport Unitarian Church will meet separately during their Sunday education hour.) We will come together for our final presentation. These will be presented along with the placement of a Witness Stone Memorial™ that will honor the enslaved individual we will focus on – where he lived, work, or worshiped – in a public ceremony to be held in May.

Meet us . . .

We are an interfaith collaboration of churches called to social justice and witness from Episcopal, Presbyterian, Congregational, and Unitarian Universalist traditions. The adult leaders from our faith communities have experience working with youth and have had background checks and are “Safe Church” trained.

Learn more about our sponsors and youth leaders.

Discover with us . . .

Sessions 1-3 will be held on Wednesday evenings (March 1, 8, 15) 6:00-8:00pm, led by the staff of The Witness Stones Project for youth and trained leaders. Each session’s topic is described HERE. All these sessions will be held at the WEPCO facility at 48 New Canaan Rd. in Wilton, CT.

Sessions 4-6 will be held on Sundays (March 19, April 16 & 23) 11:30am-1:00pm, led by our trained leaders at WEPCO. Youth from Westport will meet on Sundays with their leaders from the Unitarian Church.

Join us . . .

To participate, youth are asked to register for all sessions HERE. Adults who plan to attend Session 1 should register HERE.

If you would like to contribute an item for a meal or snack for our participants, you can sign up HERE (coming soon).

Lastly, if you desire to carpool with others, sign-up HERE (coming soon) or contact Nate Pawelek.

Funding is provided by the sponsoring faith communities as part of acknowledging their complicity in issues of injustice towards those who were enslaved, many of whom had an integral part in the building and service to the early founders of their churches. There is no cost for youth to participate; young people in grades 6 – 9 are particularly invited to attend no matter their faith or tradition, but all youth are welcome. The first session is open to the public, including parents and any other adult who is interested in learning about the mission of The Witness Stones Project, Inc. at no cost. All materials and a light meal are also provided at each session. Pre-registration is required.

About Us

Learn about the communities and leaders who are collaborating on this project:

Our Collaborators

Our Youth Leaders

Get In Touch

Leader coordinator: Sharon Pearson, (203) 984-1228

More Ways to Get In Touch

Drop By

WEPCO (St. Matthew’s & Wilton Presbyterian church complex)
48 New Canaan Rd.
Wilton, CT 06897

Direction and Maps