Michigan Freedom Trail Commission to host annual National Underground Railroad Conference July 16-20

Detroit will host the annual National Underground Railroad Conference July 16-20, bringing together scholars, archivists, community researchers and enthusiasts from across the nation. The conference is held each year by the National Park Service as part of its National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program.

This year’s theme is “I Resolved Never to Be Conquered: Women and the Underground Railroad.” The five-day conference will take place at the Doubletree-Downtown and will include pre-conference events, renowned keynote speakers, panel discussions, exhibit hall and tours of local museums and historic sites. There will also be an affiliated tour to Canada on Sunday, July 20.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy has been chosen to receive the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission’s first Truth-Haviland award in recognition of her social justice work in Detroit. Local resident Grace Lee Boggs will be honored as the recipient of the Frederick Douglass Legacy award in recognition of her lifelong commitment to social justice issues. To honor her research of Harriet Jacobs, Dr. Jean Fegan-Yellin, Professor Emerita of English at Pace University, will receive the Wilbur H. Siebert award.

Registration for the conference is available through the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) at http://www.asalh.org/ugrr.html. Register by June 30 to receive the reduced conference rate. Sponsorship, advertising, exhibit space and vending opportunities are also available.

The Michigan Freedom Trail Commission was established by Public Act 409 of 1998 to preserve, promote and protect the legacy of the Freedom Trail in Michigan. It is administered by the Michigan Historical Center, a division of the Department of Natural Resources. The commission’s mission is to encourage, coordinate and support work that makes the history of the Underground Railroad a vital part of Michigan’s civic discourse, its educational resources and its cultural tourism product.

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