Harriet Tubman to stand as The Beacon of Hope

Press Release
February 26, 2024

Harriet Tubman to stand as The Beacon of Hope at the Freedom Center

Bronze 11-foot statue on display for a limited time starting March 4

CINCINNATI – Guests to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will soon be greeted by an 11-foot statue of one of history’s greatest heroes. Harriet Tubman, famous as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, is being enshrined in a bronze statue called The Beacon of Hope, which will be installed outside the Freedom Center on March 4. The striking statue will be on display for a limited time.

The Beacon of Hope, produced by Wofford Sculpture Studio, tells Tubman’s continuing story, amplifying her message of equality so all may hear it. In her hand she holds a symbolic generational key for people to unlock their own inner strength. At her feet are the yoke of slavery and the shackles cast off by Tubman and others she helped liberate, as well as the closed shackles of those yet unfree. The heroic Tubman’s hand is raised as a North Star for those seeking freedom.

It is the Freedom Center’s continuing hope that generations of children and adults alike will find the inspiration and courage to walk in Tubman’s footsteps, drawing strength from the powerful story of one of humanity’s great heroes. Like Tubman – who guided 70 enslaved people to freedom, never losing a passenger – we may find that we can be the beacon of hope for others.

As a programming component to the statue, the Freedom Center is hosting Karen Hill, the president and CEO of the Harriet Tubman Home, to discuss the lesser-known history of Tubman. Through a combination of storytelling and mythbusting, Ms. Hill will connect Tubman’s life to key issues that still resonate today. Ms. Hill will speak to a sold-out theater of students and educators at the Freedom Center but seats are still available for a presentation open to the public at 6 p.m. on March 6.

The Beacon of Hope is a vibrant reminder of Harriet Tubman’s legacy and is on display in recognition of the Harriet Tubman Commemorative Coin, a series of collectible coins honoring the enduring legacy of one of freedom’s greatest heroes. Coins are available in three denominations, each representing a different era of Tubman’s life. Coins can be purchased at the Freedom Center or directly through the U.S. Mint. A portion of the proceeds from each coin will equally support the missions of the Freedom Center and the Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn, NY.


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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