National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to Host Freedom Summer: Then, Now and the Future Mini-Conference

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National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to Host Freedom Summer: Then, Now and the Future Mini-Conference

Contact: Jacqueline K. Dace
Deputy Director
(513) 333-7553
(513) 728-0231
jdace@nurfc.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to Host 
Freedom Summer –Then, Now and the Future Mini-Conference
Commemorating the 55th anniversary of Freedom Summer

CINCINNATI, OH (October 10, 2019) – The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, in partnership with Miami University, will host Freedom Summer –Then, Now and the Future Mini-conference on November 1-2, commemorating the 55th anniversary of Freedom Summer. The mini-conference is part of the Freedom 55 program series conducted all year at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Attendance is free and participants should enter at the Rosa Parks entrance. Visitors are encouraged to tour the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, admission fee will apply.

“We are honored to continue with our commemoration of the 55th anniversary of Freedom Summer,” says National Underground Railroad Freedom Center President and COO, Dion Brown. “Partnering with Miami University for this mini-conference is a great culminating event.”

“I’m so excited to reunite with these activist and many of the scholars that are joining us for this mini-conference. This is my Christmas in October and I’m looking forward to the memories that’ll be shared and the lessons that will be learned that are instrumental for future progress.” says Jacqueline K. Dace, Deputy Director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Friday, November 1, the event opens with the Miami University Gospel Choir performing at 6 p.m. and Dion Brown, president and chief operating officer of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, giving opening remarks at 6:50 p.m.

The plenary session, Freedom 55: The Legacy of the Movement reception at 6 p.m., discussion at 7 p.m. Among speakers is Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Saturday, November 2, Miami University President Gregory Crawford and Rodney Coates, professor of global and intercultural studies at Miami University, will give the day’s opening remarks. Panels, discussions and a play are scheduled. Among the speakers are Joyce Ladner and John Frazier, actual participants in Freedom Summer. Miami University faculty, students and alumni are among presenters. The full itinerary is online at https://freedomcenter.org/freedom55-mini-conf.

The closing plenary session – reception at 6 p.m., discussion at 7 p.m. – features Reena Evers-Everette (daughter of Medgar Evers and Myrlie Evers-Williams) and Lisa McNair (sister of Denise McNair, a victim of the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama). Jacqueline K. Dace, deputy director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, will moderate.

The Oxford League of Women Voters will register voters during the weekend.

Freedom Summer, also known as the Mississippi Summer project, was coordinated to end the prevailing discriminatory and segregated voting system in the South through increased voter registration of African Americans. In preparation, hundreds of student volunteers gathered for training sessions in June 1964 at Western College for Women (now part of Miami University) in Oxford.
This mini-conference is sponsored by, Macys, The John A. Schroth Family Charitable Trust, PNC Bank, Trustee, Miami University and Miami University Humanities Center.

The National Underground Freedom Center has been hosting a Freedom 55 programming series that includes lectures, music and films, through 2019. The opening plenary Friday and closing plenary Saturday require (free) registration. Tickets may be reserved by clicking on the plenary titles at https://freedomcenter.org/freedom55-mini-conf.

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About 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 freedomcenter.org, 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, endslaverynow.org.

About SITES
SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 65 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For more information, including exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit sites.si.edu.

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
As the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, Ford Fund’s mission is to strengthen communities and help make people’s lives better. Working with dealers and nonprofit partners in 63 countries, Ford Fund provides access to opportunities and resources that help people reach their full potential. Since 1949, Ford Fund has invested more than $2 billion in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life and encourage employee volunteering. For more information, visit community.ford.com.

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