We Are a 2020 AARP Community Challenge Grantee!

We’re thrilled to announce that Underground Railroad Education Center has been named a recipient of a 2020 AARP Community Challenge grant, one of six grantees selected in New York. We’ll use this generous grant to provide the foundation of our new”Sow We Grow” Year-Round Accessible Indoor Intergenerational Food Gardening Project at our Historic Site and Community Gardens.

Black Lives Matter or Black Men Matter: Gender and the Movement for Freedom

The Black Lives Matter movement was founded in 2013 in response to the exoneration of Treyvon Martin’s murderer. Exhausted by the cruelty and injustice which black people face from the system, the organization was built on the principles of inclusivity, acceptance, improvement, and humanity in order to “eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.” However, the overt and repeated lack of recognition towards Black female victims – and even for its three queer, black, female founders – begs the question of whether this movement is truly about all black lives, or rather just black male lives.

The Vocabulary of Freedom

Slave. Master. Among the many rocks we can turn over to see the dark side of our country’s racist past and present, the very words we use to tell the story of our history are ones that are hiding in plain sight. Language holds power, and our beliefs and prejudices are embedded in it; we must look more closely at the words used to describe the institution of slavery in America.

When the Doors Close

Sanctuary. Shelter. Welcome. These concepts have been built into the very walls of the Harriet and Stephen Myers Residence. From the days of meetings of Albany’s Vigilance Committee in the 19th century, the house on Lumber (now Livingston) Street has been a place to connect with the kindness of strangers, to receive a helping hand, and the resources to attain freedom. And now we must close our doors. Not forever, thankfully, but still – it hurts.