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Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 2 p.m.
Bradley Center Arena & Live Stream

Opening Convocation welcomes the beginning of the new academic year at Ramapo College. It is a formal academic ceremony that highlights the summer reading selection and provides an experiential learning opportunity for all students.

This year’s event featured a video presentation from guest speaker, Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, Ramapo’s 2021 First-Year Seminar summer reading book.


Erica Armstrong Dunbar is a writer and historian and currently teaches at Rutgers University where she is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History. Her work focuses on the uncomfortable concepts of slavery, racial injustice, and gender inequality. She is the author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, which was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award for Nonfiction and received the 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Award. A startling and eye-opening look into America’s First Family, Never Caught tells the story of Ona Judge, George and Martha Washington’s runaway slave who risked it all to escape the nation’s capital and reach freedom. Dunbar gives readers a glimpse into the life of a little-known, but powerful figure in American history and the ensuing manhunt led by George Washington, who used his political and personal contacts to recapture his property.

An accomplished scholar, Dunbar was named the National Director of the Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH) in 2019, an organization dedicated to continuing the advancement for the study of black women’s history. In 2011, she also became the Inaugural Director of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia, a position she held until 2018. An in-demand speaker on the lecture circuit, Dunbar gives audiences an intimate look at the often-overlooked stories that make our country’s history so richly diverse.