News Release Date: September 29, 2022
Washington, D.C. - The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program announced new designations and national award recipients in a closing ceremony for International Underground Railroad Month. Since 2019, states have recognized September as International Underground Railroad Month – the month renowned freedom seekers Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass liberated themselves from slavery. The Network to Freedom closed out this commemorative month by celebrating its members’ accomplishments throughout the past year and welcoming new members into the program.
First, the Network to Freedom Program highlighted the newest listings accepted to the program. Twice per calendar year, the Network to Freedom reviews and accepts applications from sites, facilities, and programs with verified connections to the Underground Railroad. Seventeen new listings were accepted in the 44th round of applications. Many Network to Freedom listings are privately owned and not open to the public. If the listing is not open to the public, please respect the privacy of the listing site and the property owner.
The 17 new Network to Freedom listings are:
Jacob Heald Farm Site [Site]
Old State Capitol [Site]
Lyles Station Museum Exhibit [Program]
Havre de Grace Maritime Museum [Program]
Horn Island [Site]
Ship Island [Site]
Dorrington House and Barn Site [Site]
Ona Judge Staines Burial Site [Site]
John Brown Farm and Burial Site [Site]
Rev Beriah Green Gravesite [Site]
Rev Alexander Heritage Newton Burial [Site]
Freedom Roads Program (North Carolina African American Heritage Commission) [Program]
Water Street Landing [Site]
John Brown House [Site]
Eusebius Barnard House [Site]
Ona Judge Escape Site [Site]
Belle Grove Plantation Escape Site [Site]
Network to Freedom Awards are presented to individuals who have done outstanding work supporting the Underground Railroad Community. This year, the Network to Freedom presents:
The Wilbur Siebert Award for Exemplary Underground Railroad Research, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of Underground Railroad, was presented to the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware. The Coalition is non-profit, volunteer organization that got its start in 2002 with the first Network to Freedom grant to the City of Wilmington. Since then, the Coalition has continuously provided a forum to promote and preserve the authentic history of the Underground Railroad in Delaware.
The Frederick Douglass Underground Railroad Legacy Award recognizes individuals who continue Douglass’s important legacy of promoting social change by engaging in advocacy that addresses contemporary social issues. They also embody the spirit of the Underground Railroad, working across class, racial, gender, political, or whatever other lines that divide us, to make the world a better place. This award was presented to Marvin S. Robinson II. Robinson, a U.S. Navy Veteran, who for over 35 years has advocated tirelessly for the Quindaro Ruins in Kansas to be respected and preserved as a sacred historical site, including a successful effort to stop the site from being replaced by a proposed landfill.
The Robert G. Stanton Award for Network to Freedom Partners, which recognizes steadfast supporters of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program, was presented to Cathy LaPointe. Born and raised in Michigan, Cathy LaPointe is a founding member of the Underground Railroad Society of Cass County (URSCC), and functions as a volunteer executive director of the organization. She is proud to lead URSCC in their mission to research and educate about the Underground Railroad in Cass County and restore historic buildings as focal points for telling this story.
Administered by the National Park Service, the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom serves to honor, preserve, and promote the history of resistance to enslavement through escape and flight, which continues to inspire people worldwide. The Network currently represents over 695 locations in 39 states, plus Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Through its mission, the Network to Freedom helps to advance the idea that all human beings embrace the right to self-determination and freedom from oppression.
Last updated: September 30, 2022