K-12 educators are invited to join Mount Vernon experts and external speakers for a FREE 3-day symposium exploring why and how to teach slavery in Washington's 18th-century world.


A Free Symposium for K-12 Teachers

The George Washington Teacher Institute is excited to offer current K-12 educators the opportunity to participate in deep discussions and inquiries into the complexities of 18th-century slavery and the difficulties teaching it. 

Slavery in Washington's World

This symposium will bring the best sessions of our popular, application-based residential program Slavery in Washington’s Worldwhich explores the lives and legacies of George Washington and the hundreds of enslaved individuals living at Mount Vernon, into your home this fall.

Sessions will range from:

  • investigating Washington’s changing relationship with slavery
  • examining the experiences of Mount Vernon's enslaved people
  • discussing connections between the system of slavery during the founding era and its legacy in the 21st century
  • sharing best practices, strategies, and resources to facilitate conversations about race with students in order to help them become agents of change

Registration Information

Registration for this FREE program will provide access to  ALL symposium sessions. Attendees are not required to attend all sessions. 

Specific program details, including session URLs and related resources, will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the program.

Sessions will be held online at various times from the evening of Friday, October 23 to the evening of Sunday, October 25, 2020.

Featured Speakers

Bethany Jay, Cynthia Lyerly, Kathryn Silva, Richard Josey, Brenda Parker, Mary V. Thompson, Carla McClafferty, Hassan Jeffries

Sessions Preview


Understanding and Teaching American Slavery

George Washington & Slavery

Slavery & The Constitution

Using Archaeology to Understand Slavery

Monuments and Memory at Mount Vernon

Teaching Race and Racism Today

Estate Experiences:

Enslaved Lives at Mount Vernon Tour

Lives Bound Together Exhibit Tour

Panel Discussions:

Interpreting Black Lives

Descendants' Perspectives

Book Talks:

Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret: George Washington, Slavery, and the Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon

Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington's Mount Vernon

Methodology Sessions:

Making Choices: Enslaved Resistance

George Washington's Changing Views of Slavery

Enslaved Biographies at Mount Vernon

Partner Resources for Teaching About Slavery

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Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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