Underground Railroad Conference to be held in St. Augustine, June 20-24, 2012

The U.S. National Park Service, National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program will present the 6th annual National Underground Railroad Conference in St. Augustine, Florida, June 20-24, 2012.  This conference will explore how freedom seekers seized opportunities to escape slavery into Spanish Florida, the Caribbean Islands, Indian Territory, Texas, and Mexico and how this helped to shape and transform new cultural identities in the region.  Other conference topics include preservation and interpretation of stories of southern freedom seekers during the War of 1812 and the American Civil War, in commemoration of the 200th and 150th anniversaries, respectively.

The conference brings together scholars, site stewards, community researchers, student artists, and enthusiasts from across the nation for five days of renowned speakers, panel discussions, an exhibit hall, and tours of local museums and historic sites. The conference will end with a cultural festival highlighting traditional crafts, language, music and foodways of the Gullah Geechee and Black Seminole whose descendants are invited to attend and share their history and culture.

Southeast region national parks and staff are particularly invited to participate in the conference.  Conference partners include CASA, the National Park Foundation, African American Experience Fund, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, and the Organization of American Historians.

The call for proposals is now available on the Organization of American Historians website at:http://www.oah.org/programs/nps/2012ugrr/index.html . The submission deadline for proposals isJanuary 15th.

For more information about the Network to Freedom Program and National Underground Railroadconference, see http://www.nps.gov/subjects/ugrr/community/annual-conference.htm

or contact Turkiya L. Lowe, Ph.D., at turkiya_lowe@nps.gov, 404-507-5830.

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