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Friday, September 15, 2017 - 9:43am

Special Events Directions for September 15 - September 16, 2017

 

 

With so much going on this weekend with Oktoberfest Zinzinnati and the Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run, we want to remind you that we are still open during our regular business hours of 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. See below for directions to the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center with Oktoberfest Road Closures and if you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at (513) 333-7500. Please note: street closures/routes are subject to change.

 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Groups and General Admission

·        Southbound I-75 (from Dayton, Sharonville)

o   Take I-75 south toward downtown Cincinnati. Take the right side exit, Exit 1F, Freeman Avenue. Continue straight on to Freeman Ave, bearing left on Mehring Way after approximately 0.5 miles. Continue on to Mehring Way (east bound).

§  Cars:  Continue on to Mehring way for approximately 2 miles, and turn left in to the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. Parking in the “green” section allows for easiest access to the Freedom Center.

§  Buses:  After approximately 1.2 miles turn left on to Elm St. Turn right at the first traffic light on to Freedom Way Turn right on to Rosa Parks Street and take the second exit on the traffic circle for Walnut Street. Turn left on to Freedom Way and park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Southbound I-71 (from Columbus, Kenwood, Montgomery)

o   Take I-71 south toward downtown Cincinnati. Once downtown, follow the signs for I-75 N through the Lytle tunnel. As you exit the tunnel, get into the second lane from the left for the I-75 north exit. Once on I-75 north, take the first exit on the right, Exit 1G, Liberty St./Ezzard Charles Drive. At end of the exit merge left to turn left at the traffic light, in to the left hand lane on Ezzard Charles Drive. Once on Ezzard Charles Drive turn left at the traffic light on to Western Avenue. Continue in the center lane to turn left at the traffic light. Immediately after the left hand turn you will use the right hand lane to turn on to Freeman Avenue. Continue straight on to Freeman Ave, bearing left on Mehring Way after approximately 0.5 miles. Continue on to Mehring Way (east bound).

§  Cars:  Continue on to Mehring way for approximately 2 miles, and turn left in to the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. Parking in the “green” section allows for easiest access to the Freedom Center.

§  Buses:  After approximately 1.2 miles turn left on to Elm St. Turn right at the first traffic light on to Freedom Way Turn right on to Rosa Parks Street and take the second exit on the traffic circle for Walnut Street. Turn left on to Freedom Way and park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Northbound I-75/I-71 (from Kentucky, Lexington, Louisville) CARS ONLY, NO BUSES

o   Take the right side exit, Exit 192, 5th Street. Merge on to W 5th Street, continuing for approximately 0.7 miles, turn left on to Greenup Street. After 0.2 miles turn left on to Roebling Way, continuing across the bridge. At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit and continue on to Walnut St. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and make a left at the traffic light (Joe Nuxhall Way/Main St) and turn left to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located half-way up the block (after the restaurant Holy Grail Tavern)

 

·        Northbound I-75/I-71 (from Kentucky, Lexington, Louisville) BUSES or cars

o   As you cross the bridge into Ohio, get into the second lane from the left for Exit 1D, US 50 W. River Road. Once on River Road stay left to immediately take the Gest Street exit. At the end of the ramp turn left on to Gest Street. Continue on to Gest Street for approximately 0.4 miles, making a slight right on to Pete Rose Way. Make an immediate left turn on to Mehring Way. Continue on Mehring Way (east bound).

§  Cars:  Continue on to Mehring way for approximately 1 mile, and turn left in to the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. Parking in the “green” section allows for easiest access to the Freedom Center.

§  Buses:  After approximately 0.7 miles turn left on to Elm St. Turn right at the first traffic light on to Freedom Way Turn right on to Rosa Parks Street and take the second exit on the traffic circle for Walnut Street. Turn left on to Freedom Way and park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Northbound I-471 (from Kentucky, Newport, Bellevue)

o   Take I-471 north. Follow the signs for I-75/US 50 west. The exit is on the right. On Route 50 west (Ft. Washington Way) get into the second lane from the left to follow the signs for I-75 north. Once on I-75 north take the first exit on the right, exit 1G, Liberty St./Ezzard Charles Dr. At end of the exit merge left to turn left at the traffic light, in to the left hand lane on Ezzard Charles Drive. Once on Ezzard Charles Drive turn left at the traffic light on to Western Avenue. Continue in the center lane to turn left at the traffic light. Immediately after the left hand turn you will use the right hand lane to turn on to Freeman Avenue. Continue straight on to Freeman Ave, bearing left on Mehring Way after approximately 0.5 miles. Continue on to Mehring Way (east bound).

§  Cars:  Continue on to Mehring way for approximately 2 miles, and turn left in to the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. Parking in the “green” section allows for easiest access to the Freedom Center.

§  Buses:  After approximately 1.2 miles turn left on to Elm St. Turn right at the first traffic light on to Freedom Way Turn right on to Rosa Parks Street and take the second exit on the traffic circle for Walnut Street. Turn left on to Freedom Way and park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Eastbound on I-74 E (from Indianapolis)

o   Follow I-74 east to I-75 south, toward downtown Cincinnati. Take the right side exit, Exit 1F, Freeman Avenue. Continue straight on to Freeman Ave, bearing left on Mehring Way after approximately 0.5 miles. Continue on to Mehring Way (east bound).

§  Cars:  Continue on to Mehring way for approximately 2 miles, and turn left in to the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. Parking in the “green” section allows for easiest access to the Freedom Center.

§  Buses:  After approximately 1.2 miles turn left on to Elm St. Turn right at the first traffic light on to Freedom Way Turn right on to Rosa Parks Street and take the second exit on the traffic circle for Walnut Street. Turn left on to Freedom Way and park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Eastbound on River Road, Route 50 (from Saylor Park)

o   Take the Freeman Avenue exit. Turn left on to Freeman Avenue. Continue straight on to Freeman Ave, bearing left on Mehring Way after approximately 0.5 miles. Continue on to Mehring Way Mehring Way (east bound).

§  Cars:  Continue on to Mehring way for approximately 2 miles, and turn left in to the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. Parking in the “green” section allows for easiest access to the Freedom Center.

§  Buses:  After approximately 1.2 miles turn left on to Elm St. Turn right at the first traffic light on to Freedom Way Turn right on to Rosa Parks Street and take the second exit on the traffic circle for Walnut Street. Turn left on to Freedom Way and park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Westbound Columbia Parkway, Route 50 (from Mariemont)

o   Follow US 50 west into downtown. When you get near the stadiums on Ft. Washington Way, get into the second lane from the left for the I-75 north exit. Once on I-75 north, take the first exit on the right, Exit 1G, Liberty St./Ezzard Charles Drive. At end of the exit merge left to turn left at the traffic light, in to the left hand lane on Ezzard Charles Drive. Once on Ezzard Charles Drive turn left at the traffic light on to Western Avenue. Continue in the center lane to turn left at the traffic light. Immediately after the left hand turn you will use the right hand lane to turn on to Freeman Avenue. Continue straight on to Freeman Ave, bearing left on Mehring Way after approximately 0.5 miles. Continue on to Mehring Way (east bound).

§  Cars:  Continue on to Mehring way for approximately 2 miles, and turn left in to the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. Parking in the “green” section allows for easiest access to the Freedom Center.

§  Buses:  After approximately 1.2 miles turn left on to Elm St. Turn right at the first traffic light on to Freedom Way Turn right on to Rosa Parks Street and take the second exit on the traffic circle for Walnut Street. Turn left on to Freedom Way and park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        From Downtown

o   Take I-75 north to Ezzard Charles Dr., exit 1G. Access is easy from 4th, 6th or 8th Streets. At end of the exit merge left to turn left at the traffic light, in to the left hand lane on Ezzard Charles Drive. Once on Ezzard Charles Drive turn left at the traffic light on to Western Avenue. Continue in the center lane to turn left at the traffic light. Immediately after the left hand turn you will use the right hand lane to turn on to Freeman Avenue. Continue straight on to Freeman Ave, bearing left on Mehring Way after approximately 0.5 miles. Continue on to Mehring Way (east bound).

§  Cars:  Continue on to Mehring way for approximately 2 miles, and turn left in to the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. Parking in the “green” section allows for easiest access to the Freedom Center.

§  Buses:  After approximately 1.2 miles turn left on to Elm St. Turn right at the first traffic light on to Freedom Way Turn right on to Rosa Parks Street and take the second exit on the traffic circle for Walnut Street. Turn left on to Freedom Way and park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

 

·        Southbound I-75 (from Dayton, Sharonville)

o   Take I-75 south toward downtown Cincinnati. Take the left side exit, Exit 1C, and follow signs for Downtown/Fifth St. Turn right on to Walnut Street

§  Cars: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn left on Second Street and turn right to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located on the second half of the block (after Howl at the Moon).

§  Buses: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and the Freedom Center will be located on your immediate right-hand side, park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Southbound I-71 (from Columbus, Kenwood, Montgomery)

o   Take I-71 south toward downtown Cincinnati. Use the 2nd from the right lane to take US-42/S Reading Rd exit. Keep left at the fork to continue on Exit 2, follow signs for Gilbert Avenue, and merge on to Gilbert Avenue. Gilbert Avenue turns slightly right and becomes E Eighth Street. Turn left on to Sycamore. Turn right on to Third Street, and use the left two lanes to turn left on to Walnut Street.

§  Cars: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn left on Second Street and turn right to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located on the second half of the block (after Howl at the Moon).

§  Buses: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and the Freedom Center will be located on your immediate right-hand side, park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Northbound I-75/I-71 (from Kentucky, Lexington, Louisville) CARS ONLY, NO BUSES

o   Take the right side exit, Exit 192, 5th Street. Merge on to W 5th Street, continuing for approximately 0.7 miles, turn left on to Greenup Street. After 0.2 miles turn left on to Roebling Way, continuing across the bridge. At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit and continue on to Walnut St. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and make a left at the traffic light (Joe Nuxhall Way/Main St) and turn left to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located half-way up the block (after the restaurant Holy Grail Tavern)

 

·        Northbound I-75/I-71 (from Kentucky, Lexington, Louisville) BUSES or cars

o   As you cross the bridge into Ohio, use into the second lane from the right for Exit 1C, Fifth Street. Continue on to W Fifth Street, making a right on to Walnut Street.

§  Cars: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn left on Second Street and turn right to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located on the second half of the block (after Howl at the Moon).

§  Buses: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and the Freedom Center will be located on your immediate right-hand side, park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Northbound I-471 (from Kentucky, Newport, Bellevue)

o   Take I-471 north. Take exit 6B for Sixth Street toward downtown. Continue on to Sixth Street. Turn left on to Walnut Street.

§  Cars: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn left on Second Street and turn right to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located on the second half of the block (after Howl at the Moon).

§  Buses: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and the Freedom Center will be located on your immediate right-hand side, park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Eastbound on I-74 E (from Indianapolis)

o   Follow I-74 east to I-75 south toward downtown Cincinnati. Take the left side exit, Exit 1C, and follow signs for Downtown/Fifth St. Turn right on to Walnut Street

§  Cars: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn left on Second Street and turn right to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located on the second half of the block (after Howl at the Moon).

§  Buses: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and the Freedom Center will be located on your immediate right-hand side, park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        Eastbound on River Road, Route 50 (from Saylor Park)

o   Head east on River Road, take the Fifth Street ramp in to downtown, and continue on to Fifth Street. Turn Right on to Walnut Street.

§  Cars: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn left on Second Street and turn right to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located on the second half of the block (after Howl at the Moon).

§  Buses: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and the Freedom Center will be located on your immediate right-hand side, park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

 

·        Westbound Columbia Parkway, Route 50 (from Mariemont)

o   Head west on Columbia Parkway, using the middle two lanes to stay on Columbia Parkway. Take the Sixth Street exit on the right, continue on to Sixth Street. Turn left on to Walnut Street.

§  Cars: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn left on Second Street and turn right to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located on the second half of the block (after Howl at the Moon).

§  Buses: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and the Freedom Center will be located on your immediate right-hand side, park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able.

 

·        From Downtown

o   Head south on Walnut Street.

§  Cars: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn left on Second Street and turn right to enter the Central Riverfront Parking Garage. The entrance is located on the second half of the block (after Howl at the Moon).

§  Buses: Proceed south on Walnut Street. Turn right on to Freedom Way, and the Freedom Center will be located on your immediate right-hand side, park directly in front of the building. Please pull forward as far as possible so we can accommodate as many buses as we are able. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 5:00pm

Summer Sundays - Final Weeks

 

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is the perfect destination for families or individuals to go for a day out while exploring The Banks, or after taking in a church service. With only two Sundays left in our seasonal summer hours, we invite you to visit the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to be inspired by stories of courage, cooperation and perseverance.

As our Summer Sundays come to a close guests are encouraged to take part in the special experiences we have to offer - The Rosa Parks Experience and the “Open Your Mind” Understanding Implicit Bias Learning Lab. The Rosa Parks Experience is an immersive virtual reality experience that commemorates Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks’ historic demonstration in 1955 – only days before the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Open Your Mind: Understanding Implicit Bias Learning Lab is designed to help the public understand and recognize bias and other forms of discrimination.

 

 

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s summer hours continue until Sunday, September 3, 2017 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. The museum will also be open to the public on Labor Day from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 

Kelsey Fay

Group Sales Coordinator

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 4:25pm

We cannot and will not be silent or silenced.

We believe in inclusive freedom - all people enjoying rights and privileges of equal number, quality and kind. We stand with the oppressed communities of Charlottesville - and this nation - who are traumatized daily by white supremacy. We cannot and will not be silent or silenced. We condemn racism, hatred, ignorance and violence.

Friday, August 11, 2017 - 1:24pm

Vote For Us As Your Top Ohio Attraction on 10Best.com

 

Hopefully by now you’ve had the opportunity to visit us over the summer to see our powerful exhibitions such as Mandela: The Journey to Ubuntu; try the virtual reality simulation, the Rosa Parks Experience and test your biases in our Understanding Implicit Bias Learning Lab. We are proud to bring these thought-provoking exhibits as we continue to inspire and challenge our guests to take courageous steps of freedom today. That said, we work immensely to bring you these experiences and USA Today’s 10Best.com has taken notice.

Part of the USA Today brand, 10Best gives users original, unbiased and experiential insight on travel and top destinations throughout the country as well as the world. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center has been nominated as one of Ohio’s favorite attractions and we’re getting the word out to our supporters everywhere. Log onto the link provided below to cast your vote once a day until Monday, August 28 at noon. The top 10 winning attractions will be announced on Friday, September 1. We thank you in advance for not only allowing us to be a part of your museum experience, but also letting us be an attraction you visit for your 2017 summer season. #MyNURFC

 Link to vote: http://bit.ly/2vmGrr7

 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 - 2:57pm

The Fight for the Hopper Gibbons House

In the summer of 2007 an article in The New York Times informed me that the only home of a White abolitionist in Manhattan in New York City that survived the 1863 Draft Riots was in the process of being altered beyond recognition.  The home, a townhouse located at 339 W. 29th St., is now owned by Tony Mamounas whose company was adding a fifth-floor penthouse to the four-story Hopper Gibbons house.  The Hopper Gibbons house is a 19th century rowhouse, a part of contiguous brick buildings that witnessed the Draft Riots, and was a victim of Irish arsonists who broke down the door at 339 W. 29th St., setting the house on fire gutting the interior.

The Hopper Gibbons house is an important physical element of the American Civil War that survived the July 1863 New York City Draft Riots, and is the only remaining building that was attacked because the then-owners were sheltering Blacks fleeing enslavement and was the site of meetings between Black and White abolition leaders.

The 1863 Draft Riots in New York City began as a violent protest by members of the Irish community against the implementation of the draft during the Civil war incited by Democrats who felt they were being drafted into a war that would free enslaved Black people who would then compete with them for jobs.  The Irish were also angry because middle and upper-class White New Yorkers were able to pay substitutes to take their places in the Union Army.  The anger vetted against the Black community in New York City was a violent replay of that of 1712 when enslaved Black New Yorkers were executed to suppress a slave revolt.  Starting July 13, 1863, the homes of Blacks were firebombed and the Negro orphanage that housed more than 200 children was burned.  Before the battle ended more than 200 people thought to be abolitionists were targeted, and many of their homes were burned.  The home of the Hopper Gibbons family who were abolitionists was singled out by the arsonists and on the second night of the riot (July 14, 1863) the Hopper Gibbons home was torched.  The occupants would not go through the front door to the outside in fear of being assaulted, or worse, killed.

James Sloan Gibbons and his daughter, Lucy Gibbons Morse, were in the house when the inferno began.  Abigail Hopper Gibbons was in the South with a Union Army regiment serving as a volunteer nurse.  Mr. Gibbons had developed an alternate plan of escape with the help of neighbors whose homes were attached to 3339 W. 29th St., and while the arsonists, the bad guys and the bullies stood on the street waiting to pounce on the abolitionists, James Gibbons, his daughter Lucy and others trapped in the melee, climbed up ladders through scuttles which opened on the roof, scampered across rooftop to another scuttle, climbed down another ladder into a hallway, and by exiting through the rear of the building Mr. Gibbons and his daughter escaped harm.

Fern Luskin, a professor of Art and Architecture, and Julie Finch, an actress, jointly worked to oppose the addition to the Hopper Gibbons house, and during their 10-year effort, they would attract a coalition that was multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, including people of a wide spread of incomes.  I called Fern Luskin, and began a 10-year process of exchanging emails, phone calls, site visits to 29th Street and consultation.  We were able to suggest that the neighborhood based organization that Fern Luskin and Julie Finch led develop working relationships with the African American community, and they secured the support of Jacob Morris of the Harlem Society.  In a July 2, 2012 Wall Street Journal article Mr. Morris identified 20 major Black historic sites that included the slave market at Wall Street, the site of the Colored Orphanage that burned in the Draft Riots, and the location of the home of David Ruggles, the Black abolitionist who sheltered Fredrick Douglas after he escaped enslavement in Baltimore.  

We were able to connect Ms. Luskin with what would become on the community’s most important allies, the Bronx Lab School’s Underground Railroad Bicycle Club, a group of students who visited the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in 2008.  At our suggestion, and with the cooperation of the administration of the Bronx Lab School who allowed Rachel Appel to accompany the students to a hearing of the Board of Standards and Appeals in Lower Manhattan.  At 10:00 a.m. November 20, 2012, it had been raining since the night before.  It was “wet dog weather” when a multi-racial parade of soaked students from the Bronx Lab School dismounted outside the building where the Board of Standards and Appeals would meet.  At 10:00 a.m., the wet sock caps, bandanas, scarves and poplin jackets had been removed.  Sport jackets, blazers and notebooks were extracted from backpacks, and the scholar members of the Bronx Lab School, under the watchful supportive gaze of their teacher, Rachel Apple, went to work.  The youthful students reminded the Board members and taught many in the audience of the ugly history of the Draft Riots, and the noble humanitarianism of the Hopper Gibbons family.  They noted that the family not only sheltered Black people in flight from slavery, they hosted Black abolition leaders in their home, meeting with them as peers.  From 339 W. 29th Street, a life mission dedicated to human rights would continue, directed toward serving women prisoners.  The young people reminded those at the hearing that the Hopper gibbons house was a node of humanitarian behavior and actions on the part of a small group of New Yorkers at a time when New York was considering leaving the Union and joining the Confederacy.

Mr. Mamounas, the owner/developer of 339 W. 29th St., would use every method available to him to use continuances and appealing to every possible venue, while at the same time proceeding with construction work on the building.  Weeks, months, years would pass.  New hearings would be scheduled.  Fern Luskin, Julie Finch and the neighborhood would scrape together funds to hire Jack Lester, an attorney who specializes in Community Law.  Mr. Lester successfully represented residents of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village against Black Rock Realty for illegally raising rents.

May 18, 2017 the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Department of Buildings of New York City ruled in favor of the neighbors of the Hopper Gibbons house who want it returned to its historic height.  The voices, the petitions of ordinary people and their children were heard.  There will be no celebration however, until the fifth floor of 339 W. 29th Street is removed, and the spirits of the Hopper Gibbons home are free to run unimpeded.

 

Carl B. Westmoreland

Historian

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 1:15pm

2017 Summer Hours Begin Sunday

“Whether it’s after a church service or community fellowship, or an afternoon in the park with your family enjoying The Banks community - our doors are open for all to experience the museum and be inspired by stories of courage, cooperation and perseverance.” Richard Cooper

As Mondays in May come to close on Memorial Day, our seasonal summer hours are just around the corner. Starting on Sunday May 28, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center will be open on Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for guests to enjoy on through Labor Day. Additional summer hours will provide the public with opportunities to engage in historical programming, tour permanent exhibitions and experience special exhibitions, including Mandela: The Journey to Ubuntu. This powerful exhibition, open now through August 20, commemorates the life, journey and legacy of South African President Nelson Mandela through images from documentary photographer Matthew Willman. Commissioned by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Willman spent the final 10 years of Mandela’s life capturing intimate moments and rare stories about his personal fight for freedom and South Africa’s road to racial equality.  

Guests can also visit recent museum additions – The Rosa Parks Experience and the “Open Your Mind” Understanding Implicit Bias Learning Lab. The Rosa Parks Experience is an immersive virtual reality experience that commemorates Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks’ historic demonstration in 1955 – only days before the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Open Your Mind: Understanding Implicit Bias Learning Lab is designed to help the public understand and recognize bias and other forms of discrimination.

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s summer hours begin this Sunday, May 28, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., through Labor Day weekend. The museum will also be open to the public on Memorial Day from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Will Jones
Public Relations & Social Media Coordinator
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center 

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Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 9:45am

The Crisis Unfolding in Chechnya

There is a crisis unfolding in Chechnya. It has been going on for some weeks now and is gaining some much needed international media attention. Chechen gay men are being hunted. They are being lured into traps via social media and chat rooms by government authorities. They are then arrested at the location they have agreed to meet a date or a friend. These men are being held for days or weeks at a time in makeshift cells and are being tortured via beatings and electrocution until they agree to give up the names of others like them. These beatings and sessions of torture are being carried out by Chechen authorities in an effort to eradicate homosexuality from Chechen life.  Once an individual has given up the information the authorities seek they are released to a male family member.

The Chechen authorities are said to be advising these male family members to carry out an “honor killing,” ending the victim’s life.

This is happening in 2017.

Human Rights Watch has reported that of the three gay men killed, two were murdered by relatives upon return from their detention. Others live under the threat of imminent death from their families.

The Chechen government has been asked and denies this is happening by saying, “such men did not exist in Chechnya.” This international crisis must be confronted. We cannot remain silent.

LGBTQ people are among the most marginalized people in the world. The events taking place in Chechnya are cloaked in a darkness that makes it very hard to see any light. These men live in a society that they are desperately trying to escape from to save their own lives. They have few if any resources depending upon their location. They don’t know whom, if anyone, they can trust and their lives are in constant danger.

I wish I had some words of encouragement and hope to offer here.

What I can do is challenge you to stay informed and use your voice to tell someone else about what is happening in Chechnya. Share your humanity, be open and be kind to the people you encounter. Oppression against one group is oppression against us all. 

Jesse Kramer
Creative Director
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

Wednesday, November 23, 2016 - 10:52am

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Denounces Hate Speech

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center tells stories about the past to educate and inform the present in order to prevent historical atrocities from recurring. This is our charge as a museum of conscience. We are the watchers and keepers of history.
 
We are appalled and alarmed at the recent hate speech of a white nationalist that has gone viral. Hatred is not an American value. We cannot be bystanders. We cannot ‘wait and see’. We cannot wish this away.
 
Now is the time for all Americans to confront and stand up to hatred. We will not be silent. We join and support the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in publicly denouncing racist ideologies and hate-filled rhetoric.

Thursday, November 3, 2016 - 12:00am

Go Vote, America

 

In just a few short days Americans will wake up with a civic obligation to go to the polls and cast their vote. In the absence of some catastrophic event there are two inevitabilities and two choices facing us on November 8th and beyond. The two inevitabilities are; first there will be an election on November 8th and second there will be a 45th President of these United States.

The two choices facing us are: first, the candidates who do not win will have to choose both to concede and congratulate the winner or to refuse to concede and congratulate the President Elect, whoever that may be.  The second choice each of us must make is how we answer the fundamental question “where do we go beyond this highly contentious election?”

We may disagree but our disagreements must not go beyond the pale of civility and our arguments must be about opposing views with reason and logic as the chief instruments of argumentation. Civility requires that personal, degrading and disrespecting attacks are out of bound. We can choose to sink to the abyss of chaos and become the divided people of America or we can choose to ascend to the heights of community building as the united people of America and become what the founders of this nation described as a city set on a hill shinning the light of freedom, liberty, justice, opportunity, growth, development, hope, aspiration, inclusiveness and progress.

We can choose to minimize our diversity by limiting power, position and privilege to out dated demographics, or we can choose to embrace the vast diversity of our nation and empower all people to enjoy equal opportunity to fulfill their potential without regard to their race, religion, gender, preference, or political affiliation. 

When we make the choice to move toward constructive community building we are making the choice to embrace the richness of diversity. It is a movement toward openness. It is a movement toward breaking down barriers. It is a movement toward bridge building. It is a movement toward the brotherhood and sisterhood of humanity. Wither we are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, or atheist we are all existentially and ontologically connected.

We have the means, skills and technology to eliminate hunger, poverty and disparity. We have the capacity to build communities that are diverse, integrated and equitable, we must now embrace the moral courage and the political will to do so.

So, in a few days we will elect a President and Vice President, a senate, a congress, governors, state legislators, and municipal leaders. After the election you and I must decide if we will work together to build a constructive, compassionate community or if we will allow our great nation to slip into chaos. I implore us to join together and choose to build community. The future of our great democracy is in our hands not only in terms of how we vote but also in terms of what we do after the election.

Amb. Michael A. Battle, DMin, executive vice president & provost

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