Freedom Center hosting with reduced admission and free programming, including leader of national Poor People's Campaign
$5 off admission on Solidarity Day April 22
CINCINNATI, OH (April 6, 2023) —Wealth, resources and access to them have historically been a dividing line in the United States, creating two nations: one of wealth and opportunity, the other of poverty and want. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center hopes its upcoming Solidarity Day will be an opportunity for the community to learn more about the divide and be inspired to bridge it.
The Freedom Center’s Solidarity Day will feature reduced admission ($5 off) for all guests, a financial and mortgage homeownership education session and opportunities to hear directly from the nation’s leading activist in the fight against poverty. Solidarity Day will be Saturday, April 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., followed by a ticketed evening keynote featuring Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.
“In one of the wealthiest nations on the planet, a land of plenty, we continue to be plagued by pervasive poverty that strikes across all races and all regions,” said Woodrow Keown, Jr., president and COO of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “We’ve curated a day to educate and inspire the community on issues of poverty in hopes that we can empower individuals to act. We’ve worked with incredible partners to make this day a call to action.”
The centerpiece of the Freedom Center’s Solidarity Day is their newest featured exhibition Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, supported by the Procter & Gamble Company (P&G). Developed by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Solidarity Now! revives the often-overlooked history of the multicultural movement to confront poverty, redefining social justice and activism in America. The campaign was organized by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rev. Ralph Abernathy as a national human rights crusade in response to the rising and ubiquitous poverty of the 1960s. Through photographs, oral histories, protest signs, political buttons, audio field recordings and a 3D map of the six-week protest community on the National Mall in 1968, the exhibition resurrects the story and vision of the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign.
While the exhibition is the centerpiece, the day’s highlight will be programming focused on financial education targeted toward homeownership and the current crusade against poverty led by Rev. Barber.
Financial Education Workshop | 10:30 a.m.
Union Savings Bank and Guardian Savings Bank will host a free financial and mortgage homeownership education workshop in the Harriet Tubman Theater at 10:30 a.m. to help empower individuals to make more informed financial decisions and avoid predatory lending programs and budgeting pitfalls that can stress family and individual budgets.
Community Conversation: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II | 1:30 p.m.
In the more than 50 years since the original Poor People’s Campaign, the percentage of Americans impacted by poverty has declined by less than 1% and the number of people living below the poverty line has grown by 50%, from 25 to 38 million people. Rev. Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, will host a conversation with guests in the Harriet Tubman Theater. Community Conversation: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is sponsored by Gallagher Insurance.
Confronting Poverty: An Evening with Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II | 5:30 p.m.
Rev. Barber will deliver a moderated keynote in the evening and sign copies of his book The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear, which will be available to purchase that evening. During the event, which is financially assisted by P&G, Rev. Barber will discuss how he is advancing the work of Dr. King and his contemporaries and extend a call to action for each of us to join the fight against poverty in the interest of humanity. A reception, sponsored by Gallagher Insurance, will precede the keynote. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m., followed by the keynote at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $40 for Freedom Center Members and $50 for non-Members and are available now.
In addition to Rev. Barber’s role with the Poor People’s Campaign, he serves as president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, Bishop with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, Pastor for the past 29 years of Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro, NC, and has most recently been named Professor in the Practice of Public Theology and Public Policy and Founding Director of the Center for Public Theology and Public Policy at Yale Divinity School.
Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign is now open and will run through June 19, 2023. The exhibition is included with admission.
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.