International Underground Railroad Month

Celebrate International Underground Railroad Month

Leading with courage, cooperation and perseverance.


Celebrating the Underground Railroad, September 1 to 30

Curated in partnership with Google Arts and Culture, Celebrating the Underground Railroad commemorates the courage of freedom seekers and conductors and celebrates African Americans' enduring contributions. Objects displayed in the exhibition are pulled from the Freedom Center's collections and include The Underground Railroad Records, written by conductor William Still, chronicling the stories of more than 640 people who self-liberated through the Underground Railroad; an 1833 advertisement for a public slave trade in Charleston, South Carolina; and a 1963 special issue of Ebony magazine commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Visit Celebrating the Underground Railroad on our 3rd floor or online.

Unpacking the Underground Railroad, 7 p.m., September 7

Join Freedom Center staff and scholars for a discussion of the Underground Railroad's history and enduring legacy. Panelists help unpack the clandestine journey to freedom and why the lessons of the Underground Railroad remain critical in today's pursuit of social justice.

The panel is free but registration is required.

Freedom Lecture: From Enslavement to Poverty, 7 p.m., September 16

Philip Armstrong, interim executive director of the Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center, will explore legacies of Black resilience from the Underground Railroad through the early 20th century. From the free Black communities of 19th-century Little Africa along the banks of the Ohio River to Black Wall Street thriving in the Greenwood District of early 20th-century Tulsa, thriving Black communities have been subject to devastating violence and racism. Yet even in the wake of these tragedies, communities persevered and rebuilt, inspiring us through the triumph of the human spirit.

The lecture is free but registration is required.

Fifth Third Community Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., September 18

The Freedom Center is offering free admission on Sunday, September 18 as part of our Fifth Third Community Days, made possible through the support of the Fifth Third Foundation. Local organizations joining the Freedom Center to discuss the history and significance of the Underground Railroad include:

  • Boone County Borderlands Archive & History Center
  • Cincinnati Type & Print Museum
  • College Hill Historical Society, including Diane Porter, co-author of Escape of the 28
  • Erlanger Historical Society
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe House
  • John Parker House
  • John Rankin House
  • Mt. Healthy Historical Society

Freedom Film Series: The Loyola Project, 6 p.m., September 19

In 1963, at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, the Loyola Ramblers of Chicago broke racial barriers and changed college basketball forever. Join the Freedom Center and LADD Inc. for the latest in the Freedom Film Series: The Loyola Project. Nearly 60 years after their groundbreaking first season, the legendary Ramblers team is reexamined by Loyola basketball player and co-captain Lucas Williamson. Woven together with archival footage and present-day interviews, their captivating story continues to provide inspiration in the ongoing fight for equality.

Following the screen, join director of The Loyola Project Patrick Creadon and University of Cincinnati basketball player and Olympic Gold Medalist George Wilson for a conversation on race, sports and competing for equality.

Tickets are $15 and available now. A virtual streaming option is also available.

Special Exhibitions

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center hosts a variety of traveling exhibitions throughout the year. See what we’re hosting now.