They are known today as Freedom’s Sisters. The courage and determination of these extraordinary African American women helped change the course of history and laid a foundation for the future. Ford Motor Company Fund, in partnership with the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), has brought the Freedom’s Sisters story to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta.
Former President Jimmy Carter joined Ford Fund President Jim Vella and three of the Freedom’s Sisters honorees for a ribbon cutting ceremony opening the exhibit.
Many of the Freedom’s Sisters are well known — Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Coretta Scott King, Barbara Jordan and Shirley Chisholm – while others are not.
“These 20 women left not a footnote but a footprint on American history,” said SITES Director Anna R. Cohn. “Many of their stories may not be well known, but their roles and contributions were monumental in shaping our country and its conscience.”
Organized around four themes – Dare to Dream, Inspire Lives, Serve the Public and Look to the Future – Freedom’s Sisters is designed as an educational tool targeting students. A variety of engaging community outreach programs are planned, including an essay contest that is open to students in grades 4-8 who visit the exhibit. Ford Motor Company will award $10,000 in U.S. savings bonds to winning entries that answer the question: “Who is your favorite Freedom Sister and why?”
The interactive exhibit will remain at The Carter Presidential Library through October 4, 2010, and then continue on its three-year national tour to Baltimore. Ford Motor Company Fund began its sponsorship when the traveling exhibit first opened in 2008.