National Underground Railroad Freedom Center supports legislation to mint Harriet Tubman coin

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Press Release

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center supports legislation to mint Harriet Tubman coin

MEDIA CONTACT: Cody Hefner, (513) 608-5777, chefner@nurfc.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center supports legislation to mint Harriet Tubman coin

Commemorative coin perpetuates freedom hero’s legacy and supports Freedom Center mission

CINCINNATI, OH (March 15, 2021) — Freedom hero Harriet Tubman moves one step closer to assuming her rightful place among America’s pantheon of national heroes. The Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act was introduced in the US Senate on March 10 – coinciding with Harriet Tubman Day, an American holiday observed in her honor – and in the US House of Representatives on March 11. The bipartisan bill proposes to celebrate 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 supports the passage of the bill. If passed, the Freedom Center will be a recipient of the surcharges raised by the sale of the coins for the purpose of accomplishing and advancing its mission, including perpetuating Tubman’s legacy to inspire the next generation of freedom conductors.

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 ten years, leading 70 enslaved people to freedom in Canada.

“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 of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “When we think of the best version of ourselves and our nation, we look to Harriet as a model of the courage, the cooperation and the perseverance inclusive freedom demands. She rightly deserves to be celebrated and this is an important step in ensuring our national heroes reflect the diversity that has written our national story.”

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 in 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.

“Through exhibits and educational initiatives, we reveal stories of freedom’s heroes, both past and present, to inspire the heroes of tomorrow,” said Keown. “It’s fitting that the most notable figure of the Underground Railroad will continue to further the cause of modern abolitionism by raising awareness and revenue for our mission. We are honored to be one of the recipient organizations affiliated with this historic legislation.”

The Freedom Center has secured the support of The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) as lead sponsor to collaborate in helping honor Tubman’s legacy and promoting social justice through the special initiative. P&G’s sponsorship will also help maximize the financial support the Freedom Center will receive from the project.

“Procter & Gamble has supported the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center since its founding and we share the commitment to the values of equality, inclusion and justice. We are proud to honor the legacy of Harriet Tubman by serving as the lead sponsor of this effort,” said Sundar Raman, president of P&G Home Care and P&G Professional. “By commemorating Harriet Tubman’s lifelong fight for freedom and equality, we recognize the progress we have made but know there is work yet to be done to create an equal and inclusive society.”

The Freedom Center celebrates Congress’s bipartisan leadership in the accomplishment of this significant milestone as the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act seeks passage in the Senate and House of Representatives.

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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 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

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