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Copy of Conference Schedule

  Tentative Program

(Subject To Change)

Wednesday, July 16

8:00 am-8:30 am


Conference Tour Registration and Check-In

8:30 am - 5:00 pm

(Bus Loads 8:00 am)


Conference Tour 1- Journey Across Midnight: Underground Railroad Tour of Detroit 

2:00 pm-5:30 pm


Conference Registraton

7:00 pm -9:00 pm



Opening Reception at Doubletree- Fort Shelby (Crystal Ballroom)

525 West Lafayette Blvd
Detroit, Nichigan 48226



Thursday, July 17


8:00 am


Conference Registration

8:00 am-6:30 pm


Exhibit Hall

8:00 am-9:00 am


Continental Breakfast
(Exhibit Hall)

9:00 am-10:15 am


Opening Convocation and Keynote Address by Jean Fagan Yellin, PhD

10:15 am-10:30 am



10:30 am-12:00 pm


Concurrent Session 1- Destroying the Middleground of Slavery: Female Abolitionists and Fugitive Slaves
oncurrent Session 2- Hearth and Haven: A Micro-History of Women of the Underground Railroad in the Ypsilanti Michigan Area


12:15 am-1:45 pm


Luncheon and Keynote Address by Sydney Nathans, PhD

Presentation of Frederick Douglass Legacy Award to Grace Lee Boggs

2:00 pm-3:30 pm


Concurrent Session 3- Ancestral Ties: Family and Genealogical Approaches to the Underground Railroad

Concurrent Session 4- Women Seeking Freedom: Escaping on the Underground Railroad

3:30 pm-3:45 pm




3:45 pm-5:15 pm


Concurrent Session 5- Telling Our Story: Descendants Speak
Concurrent Session 6- A Woman Behind the Lines: The Civil War Underground Railroad Story of Contrabands and Lucy Higgs Nichols

6:30 pm-8:30 pm



Presentation of Wilbur H. Siebert Award to Jean Fagan Yellin, PhD and Performance of "River to Cross" by Washington Productions, Inc. (WPI)

"The River to Cross" is a dramatic performance by Washington Productions, Inc. (WPI). Based on a true history, this highly adventurous and entertaining story tells of the experience of William Bright Conner and his family, who were born free and traveled north, in 1849, to escape southern slavery. On a seemingly never-ending journey they face exhaustion and capture by slave raiders who want to sell them into slavery. In spite of numerous obstacles along the way, they continue on in search of a better life.

WPI is a professional theatre group based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Their desire is to create an accurate and in depth view of the African American experience through the performing arts. WPI has performed on television, stage, and film, in the United States and abroad. During the past five years they have appeared before more than 150,000 people of all ages.




Friday, July 18


8:00 am


Conference Registration


7:30 am-4:30 pm


Exhibit Hall

8:00 am-9:00 am


Continental Breakfast (Exhibit Hall)


9:00 am-10:30 am


Concurrent Session 7- Not Submitting Tamely to Injustice: Women and the Fugitive Slave Laws

Concurrent Session 8- Women, the Underground Railroad and Public Memory in Canada in the 21st Century


10:45 am-11:45 am


Kenynote Address by Tiya Miles, PhD    

12:00 pm-1:00 pm




1:15 pm-2:45 pm


Plenary Session-Women, Resistance and the Underground Railroad in the Detroit River Borderlands 

2:45 pm-3:00 pm



3:00 pm-4:30 pm


Concurrent Session 9- Turning the World Upside Down: The Women Beside the Men

Concurrent Session 10- "Thine for the Oppressed": Female Agency and the Underground Railroad


6:00 pm-8:30 pm


Conference Tour 2- Explore Detroit Tour: The Motown Experience

Saturday, July 19

7:30 am-8:00 am  


Conference Tour Registration and Check-In 

8:00 am-?

(Bus Loads 8:00 am)


Conference Tour 3: Routes to Freedom, Routes to Prosperity  

Sunday, July 20

7:30 am-8:00 am  


Conference Tour Registration and Check-In 

8:30 am-5:30 pm

(Bus Loads 7:30 am)


Affiliated Tour- The Other Side of Freedom: Destination Canada