What were the project goals?
Establish a state network of marked sites that acknowledge individual, organizational and community participation in the UGRR and abolitionist movement; Link the state's network of sites to national UGRR routes and the related activities of the National Park Service; Produce scholarship, educational and public awareness materials; Engage the community in the ongoing research, identification and documentation of the UGRR and anti-slavery movement to best interpret, commemorate and preserve this legacy; Advance the public discourse on the many struggles for social justice, economic justice, and human rights - past and present - thereby connecting the history of the UGRR to global movements for freedom; and Collaborate with other efforts to preserve and advance Maine's African American history and culture.
Have they changed over time?
Yes. We are trying to go beyond an effort that is primarily focused on the development of permanent markers - place making - to actively connecting this period of history to the overall history of Maine and current experiences due to the growth of diverse racial and ethnic populations. We are also more committed to building our organizational infrastructure in order to do creative educational and culturally-based community projects and research.
Who are the project partners and stakeholders?
City of Portland, NAACP Portland Branch, Abyssinian Meeting House, Portland Public Schools, Maine Office of Tourism, and members of the creative economy artistic community.