Young Abolitionist Leadership Institute 2020

Come join with Underground Railroad History Project in making a positive life-changing difference for our Albany teens.

A BIG THANK YOU to those who have previously stepped up to support this incredible program!

We are aiming for $2500 in support of what we are now calling the Young Abolitionist Leadership Institute. Your contribution goes a long way to support the teen-driven work of each Focus Group and the production of each group's Legacy Project. 

What happens at the Leadership Institute? Through an interdisciplinary, multi-sensory, service-learning approach, teens improve work-readiness skills of collaboration, communication, analysis, research, leadership, literacy, problem solving and civic responsibility, while developing pride in their community’s history and heritage. 

Focus Group Facilitators, professionals from a variety of fields, collaborate with 8-10 Focus Group teens to establish a group goal that results in the designing of an action plan leading to the production of a Legacy Project. The Legacy Project allows the group to engage in its civic responsibility by educating the public about local social justice issues that have their roots in the institution of slavery as practiced in this country, including New York State, and which continue to impact our communities in various forms today.

The integration of the stories of local civil rights activists involved in the Underground Railroad Movement of the 19th century provide Institute participants with an inspiring model of response to human rights injustices which Institute participants can integrate into their Legacy Project research, planning, and implementation. The Legacy Projects, which are expected to be of a high quality and about which teens are expected to articulately present to a multi-age, diverse audience at an Institute Open House, showcase what has been learned through the modality of the focus group. A life-changing experience to be sure. 

Our teens say it best
-- (Clayton) I have learned so much about being a leader, about Stephen and Harriet Myers, the Underground Railroad, and why it’s important to pay attention to history. 
 -- (Elijah) I am here to help out. We had to be prepared at all times. I had to learn to go with the flow. I learned that I can do art – do outlines, paint. I always tell my family about stuff. My family is very proud of me – working, getting a head start. We had enrichment every Friday where I learned about saving. I learned about Stephen and Harriet Myers. You’re in luck if you are assigned here (The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence).
-- And from (Karen) a parent, "know two students who participated in the program, and it was truly transformative. They learned so much, gained confidence, and had fun too! Thank you for your wonderful work!

More information about Underground Railroad History Project  : We are a non-profit organization that researches and celebrates the story of the Underground Railroad in New York's Capital Region and beyond, focusing on African American abolitionists and freedom seekers, and highlighting the relevance of this reclaimed history with us today.

We conduct youth programs, annual public conferences, July 4th programs, Veterans' Day programs, International Archaeology Day programs, and workshops, and produce various publications. We speak publicly to groups locally, around the state and around the nation. As well, we are restoring the award winning Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, a documented Underground Railroad site that is on the National Register of Historic Places, a member of the National Park Service Network to Freedom, and a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.


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MaryLiz Stewart 
Albany, NY
Underground Railroad History Project 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
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