A Discussion with Dr. Charles Chavis: Maryland's "Silent Shore" and the Role of History in Current Truth and Racial Healing Efforts

This event has already taken place. You can find a recording of the event at this link.

Join BDI for a virtual conversation with Dr. Charles L. Chavis, Jr., centering around Dr. Chavis's ground-breaking book The Silent Shore: The Lynching of Matthew Williams and the Politics of Racism in the Free State. The book, which details the 1931 lynching of Matthew Williams, helped to spark the creation of a Truth, Racial Unity, Transformation and Healing (TRUTH) Advisory Committee in Salisbury, Maryland.

Dr. Chavis is Director of African & African American Studies, founding Director of the John Mitchell, Jr. Program for History, Justice, & Race, at The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, and Assistant Professor of History and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. Dr. Chavis is National Co-Chair for the United States Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation Movement and Vice Chair of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He also serves on PBS’s Exploring Hate Advisory Committee.

This virtual conversation is hosted by the Bridging Divides Initiative as part of the National Week of Conversation.

Dr. Chavis will be joined by Mayor Jake Day of Salisbury, Maryland. Born and raised in Salisbury, he was elected to the City Council at the age of 30 and unanimously elected President. First elected Mayor in 2015, he was reelected in 2019 with 86% of the vote. Under his leadership, Salisbury has made tremendous strides towards reducing chronic homelessness, supporting youth, and reducing the rate of crime within the city. In 2020, Mayor Jake Day supported the establishment of the Salisbury Lynching Memorial Task Force to facilitate the creation of a permanent monument in honor and solemn remembrance of the three American citizens who lost their lives at the hands of lynch mobs in Wicomico County. In January of 2022, building on this momentum, the City of Salisbury launched the Truth, Racial Unity, Transformation & Healing Advisory Committee, tasked with tackling existing racial issues, and potential solutions.

Jake is a Global War on Terrorism veteran and is currently a Major in the Army. He has completed one combat deployment to Kenya, Somalia, and Djibouti as the Special Technical Operations Chief and Deputy Director of Information Operations for Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. Jake earned a Master of Science in Nature, Society & Environmental Policy from Oxford University, a Master of Urban Design from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Maryland.


  • Thursday, April 28, 2022 1:00pm – 3:00pm EST



Please see SPIA's event page for more information. For more information on BDI's support to the Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) movement, please visit our interactive map.