As an museum apprentice at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, one part of my job is to go through the museum every day to make sure every single aspect of each exhibition is functioning, undamaged and ready for a day of visitor interaction. I carefully walk into each exhibition as if I am visiting the museum for the first time, looking at every text panel, listening to all of the audio panels, manipulating all of the interactive displays and watching a small bit of each film.
Now that I've been at the Freedom Center for almost a year, regaling you with exciting behind-the-scenes tales of collections and exhibits, it's time to introduce myself.
Only a 9-year-old would dream that a lemonade stand could free 500 enslaved children. What followed became so much bigger. After seeing a photo of two enslaved boys in Nepal, Vivienne Harr is moved to help in the only way she knows how: by setting up her lemonade stand. With the goal of freeing 500 children from a life of slavery, she sets up her stand every day, rain or shine. As Vivienne's vision begins to show promise for something greater, her community stands with her — and she develops her own Social Purpose Company.
Join the Freedom Center Mar. 6 as we honor Kerry and Annie Hilton, founders of Freeset Global, as Everyday Freedom Heroes. Operating out of Kolkata, India in the neighborhood that houses India’s largest red-light district, Freeset has provided alternative employment and economic freedom to hundreds of women trapped in India’s notorious sex trade through the sales of export-quality bags and apparel.
After watching the film, Twelve Years A Slave, my colleague, Rich Cooper, and I were reeling with emotions. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s performance as Solomon Northup gave us goosebumps – not to mention the performances by Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong’o. Everyone I talked to was processing the film days later, and we realized how important it was to work through the emotions this film rattled inside of us.