From 2002 to 2010, the U.S. Department of Education offered the "Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program" as a grant-funded opportunity for nonprofit educational organizations to research, display, interpret, and collect artifacts related to the history of the Underground Railroad. The Charles H. Wright Museum was one of three institutions to receive the U.S. Department of Education’s Underground Railroad Educational and Cultural Program grant in 2009.
Organizations receiving funds must demonstrate substantial private support through a public-private partnership, as well as link their projects to other local and regional facilities that have collections and programs which interpret the history of the Underground Railroad and which interpret lessons learned from the Underground Railroad’s history.
UGRR Educational and Cultural Program Projects awarded in 2009:
ORGANIZATION: Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
PROJECT: Cooperative Underground Railroad Education Partnership
DESCRIPTION: The Cooperative Underground Railroad Education Partnership, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, provides educational resources on the Underground Railroad and anti-slavery history. Resources include the Underground Railroad - Struggle Against Slavery website, the And Still We Rise exhibition on-site with displays on slavery and anti-slavery history, including touch screens and the on-site Children Discovery Room, designed for school-aged children. UGRR Collections such as the Blanche Coggan Collection are available for on-site researchers. Through a collaboration with Eastern Michigan University, the Partnership provides a link on the Struggle Against Slavery website with K-12 lesson plans to help K-12 teachers present accurate history of the Underground Railroad and its history in Detroit, Michigan, as well as in the Midwest and in the nation.
ORGANIZATION: Maryland State Archives
PROJECT: Legacy of Slavery in Maryland
DESCRIPTION: This project preserves and promotes vast experiences that have shaped the lives of Maryland's African American population. From the day that a Mathias de Sousa and Francisco landed in St. Mary's county aboard the Ark and the Dove in 1634, Black Marylanders have made significant contributions to both the state and nation in the political, economic, agricultural, legal, and domestic arenas. Despite often seemingly insurmountable odds, Marylanders of Color have adapted, evolved, and prevailed. The Legacy of Slavery Study shares its findings through public presentations and by making numerous source documents, exhibits and interactive studies accessible and easily searchable on its website.
ORGANIZATION: Brooklyn Historical Society
PROJECT: In Pursuit of Freedom
DESCRIPTION: In Pursuit of Freedom explores the history of abolition and the antislavery movement in Brooklyn, New York. Created by partners at the Brooklyn Historical Society, Irondale Ensemble Project and Weeksville Heritage Center, this project, the first of its kind, comprises original scholarly research; a series of exhibitions at the three partner sites, a curriculum for teachers and their students, grades 4-12; an original theater piece that premiered at the Irondale Theater in May of 2012; a new website; a public memorial in downtown Brooklyn to honor the anti-slavery movement in Brooklyn; walking tours of Brooklyn’s abolitionists’ and URR sites; and a series of public programs scheduled for the next five years.
ORGANIZATION: Senator John Heinz History Center
PROJECT: From Slavery to Freedom
DESCRIPTION: From Slavery to Freedom at the Senator John Heinz History Center features a new 3,200 square foot long-term exhibition, an anthology The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience (Heinz History Center, 2013), groundbreaking research displayed in the exhibit and online microsite, scholarly lectures at the museum or through our partnership with the Center for African American Urban Studies and the Economy (CAUSE) at Carnegie Mellon University, an online curriculum guide for teachers and educators, a film series at and in collaboration with Carnegie Library Homewood Branch, and an urban garden project in partnership with Pittsburgh Park Conservancy at Frick Environmental Center that features foods, plants, and flora related to African American foodways and the Underground Railroad.
ORGANIZATION: National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
PROJECT: Legacies of the Underground Railroad
DESCRIPTION: The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s project, Legacies of the Underground Railroad, will involve a series of initiatives, including: artifact acquisition and research that will be published on the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Educational Portal; a series of on-site and traveling exhibitions; new college curriculum for undergraduate use that will be placed on the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s Educational Portal; artifact digitization that will be made available to researchers and staff members on-site; and, the restoration and preservation of an authentic nineteenth century slave pen that is housed at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.