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Ford to Underwrite Unprecedented Exhibition Honoring African American Women

Published Dec 3rd 2007, 9:09am by Jody DeVere in Featured Articles

Fordlogo Ford Motor Company has announced that it will underwrite the National "Freedom's Sisters" Traveling Exhibition honoring extraordinary African American women.

The traveling exhibition to be created by the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) celebrates 20 African American women, from key 19th century historical figures to contemporary leaders who have fought for equality for people of color. The exhibition will open in Cincinnati in March 2008.

"Ford is extremely excited about this extraordinary exhibition and its theme of paying tribute to the legacies of African American women who helped shape the spirit and substance of civil rights in America," says Jim Vella, President, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services. "It is part of Ford's overall commitment to celebrating our American heritage and legacy."

Freedom's Sisters is expected to attract people of all ages, races, and backgrounds, whether they were a part of the civil rights movement themselves, or a student of the movement through stories passed down through family, friends, and history books. Throughout its three-year nationwide tour, this interactive, multi-media exhibit will also seek to encourage and motivate the next generation of leaders through dialogue on the civil rights struggle, past, present, and future, within their own local communities.

"Cincinnati Museum Center is excited for the opportunity to create this exhibition that will honor the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement," said President and CEO, Douglass W. McDonald, Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal. "The opportunity to partner with both Ford and the Smithsonian Institution is one which will provide our museum center the opportunity to participate in what we believe will be a dynamic and profoundly moving initiative."

Smithsonian_logo "SITES is deeply proud to be able to share with the nation some of the most profound stories of America's civil rights journey," says Anna R. Cohn, Director of SITES. "The 20 remarkable women who illuminate this exhibition will inspire everyone beyond measure."

In support of the launch of the exhibition, notable African Americans who have made significant contributions to the African American community -- including U.S. Representative Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus -- have been invited to sit on the National Committee of Honor for the project.

"I am proud to be a part of this exceptional exhibition honoring the service and sacrifice of African American women," said Congresswoman Kilpatrick. "This powerful presentation highlighting their contributions and commitment should inspire us to continue their legacy of love and leadership. We must work together to build a stronger and united America in which all citizens have equal access to opportunities and justice."

This exciting collaboration between the Cincinnati Museum Center, Ford, and the Smithsonian Institution brings together three outstanding partners who will design, produce, and travel an exhibition that promises to leave a lasting impression at every stop it makes. For information on the Cincinnati Museum Center, call (513) 287-7000 or 1-800-733-2077 or visit For more information on the Smithsonian Institution, including exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit

By Brandy Schaffels
Contributing Editor

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