See below for photos and information about the unveiling today – Juneteenth – of the Ona Judge historical marker in Mt. Vernon. As Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni explains: “Ona Judge was 23 years old when she escaped from slavery and started her life as a free woman. This serves as a good reminder of the power young people in Virginia have to call out injustice, wrestle with a difficult history, and ultimately transform their communities.” And as State Sen. Scott Surovell, who represents the Mt. Vernon area, writes: “Big turnout today to dedicate a new state historic marker at Mt. Vernon for Ona Judge as part of Governor Northam’s plan to ensure we have a full representation of Virginia history.” Good stuff.
Today, on Juneteenth, we celebrated the unveiling of the Ona Judge historical marker. Ona Judge was 23 years old when she escaped from slavery and started her life as a free woman. This serves as a good reminder of the power young people in Virginia have to call out injustice, wrestle with a difficult history, and ultimately transform their communities.
Laurel Ridge Elementary students in Fairfax County (Grace Christensen, Holly Cotton, and Tessa Tritten submitted nominations for Ona Judge to the Historical Marker Contest.
Ona Judge is a hero, a source of pride in our Virginia story, and an important perspective to understand in the story of Mount Vernon, George Washington, and enslavement.
Ms. Maura Keaney helped her students learn about Ona Judge and write entries for the Historical Marker Contest. This type of place-based learning is empowering. It allows students to see that they can make a tangible impact on the world… so tangible that they can even go visit the marker they submitted.