Freedom Center supports bill that would perpetuate legacy of prominent freedom hero

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 18, 2022

MEDIA CONTACT: Cody Hefner (513) 608-5777,

Freedom Center supports bill that would perpetuate legacy of prominent freedom hero

Legislation to mint Harriet Tubman coin passes in US Senate

CINCINNATI — Freedom hero Harriet Tubman is poised to assume her rightful place among America’s pantheon of heroes. The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act was passed by the United States Senate last evening by a voice vote. The bipartisan bill celebrates Tubman’s legacy by creating a series of commemorative coins in honor of the extraordinary achievements of her lifetime and her profound impact on the history and culture of our country. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center applauds the passage of the bill by the Senate and hopes the House will follow suit before the 200th anniversary of Tubman’s birthday on March 10. The Freedom Center will be a recipient of the surcharges raised by the sale of the coins, advancing its mission and perpetuating Tubman’s legacy to inspire the next generation of freedom conductors.

“Harriet Tubman is one of the most revered figures in American history and in the ongoing fight for inclusive freedom,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “The passage of this legislation in the United States Senate rightly enshrines her among our nation’s pantheon of heroes. It is an essential step in ensuring our national heroes reflect the true diversity of those who have contributed so significantly to our nation’s democracy.”

Harriet Tubman is perhaps the most recognized figure from the era of the Underground Railroad, the clandestine network by which enslaved individuals sought to liberate themselves in the first half of the 19th century. Born Araminta “Minty” Ross in March 1822 on a plantation in Maryland, Tubman self-liberated via the Underground Railroad in 1849, crossing from Maryland to the free state of Pennsylvania. She returned to Maryland 13 times over the next decade, leading 70 enslaved people to freedom in Canada.

The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act, introduced by Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Rob Portman (R-OH) and Representatives Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and John Katko (R-NY), will mint a limited number of three new coins to be sold exclusively by the US Mint that will bear Tubman’s likeness on the front and an image representing the Freedom Center on the back. The Freedom Center will consult on the design of the coins with input from the Commission of Fine Arts; Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen will select the final coin designs.

“Minting Ms. Tubman’s likeness on a commemorative coin will encourage people to learn more about this extraordinary leader who had such a profound impact on American history and culture,” added Keown. “Modern-day abolitionists continue to be inspired by the principles of courage, cooperation and perseverance she exemplified to better our country.”
The Freedom Center celebrates Congress’s bipartisan leadership in the accomplishment of this significant milestone.


About the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in August 2004 on the banks of the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio. Since then, more than 1.3 million people have visited its permanent and changing exhibits and public programs, inspiring everyone to take courageous steps for freedom. Two million people have utilized educational resources online at, working to connect the lessons of the Underground Railroad to inform and inspire today’s global and local fight for freedom. Partnerships include Historians Against Slavery, Polaris Project, Free the Slaves, US Department of State and International Justice Mission. In 2014, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center launched a new online resource in the fight against modern slavery,

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