April 19, 2018
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·         Freedom’s Sisters Traveling Exhibition Honors 20 Extraordinary African American Women


·         Luncheon Welcomes Birmingham Community Leaders as Exhibition Ambassadors


·      Ford Motor Company Fund, Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) and CincinnatiMuseumCenter Partner with Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to Present Historic Exhibition


BIRMINGHAM, AL., Ford Motor Company and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute will host a special luncheon for members of the Birmingham Committee of Honor for the traveling exhibition Freedom’s Sisters. The luncheon on Wednesday, June 17, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the historic Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, will host key members of the Birmingham community who are serving as ambassadors of exhibition.  The event also will provide behind-the-scenes information and insights, such as a sneak peek of the exhibition through a video presentation of “The Making of Freedom’s Sisters” Video. 


Freedom’s Sisters is a dynamic, multimedia exhibition that celebrates 20 African American women, including historic 19th-century figures and contemporary leaders, who helped shape the spirit and substance of the civil rights movement in America.  Designed to appeal to people of all ages, Freedom’s Sisters is a collaborative effort between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the CincinnatiMuseumCenter, and is made possible by a grant from Ford Motor Company Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company.  This exciting collaboration is designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds.


“Ford is especially proud to host the Freedom's Sisters exhibition at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, a leader in sharing the history and lessons of the American civil rights movement,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services.  "Through this collaboration we celebrate the women who led our country during this transformative period.”


The private opening reception for the Freedom’s Sisters exhibition is scheduled for Friday, July 24, 2009 at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.  Freedom’s Sisters living legend and Birmingham native, Sonia Sanchez will return to Birmingham for the event.  Sanchez, a world renowned poet, activist and scholar, will speak to attendees with a powerful message of her experiences during the Civil Rights Movement.  Sanchez’s life and accomplishments are chronicled in the Freedom’s Sisters exhibit.  Both national and local media, celebrities and dignitaries will attend this VIP event.  The Birmingham exhibition opens to the public July 25 and runs through October 4, 2009.


Dr. Lawrence J. Pijeaux, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute says:  "The Institute is proud to share this special exhibition with the Birmingham community and visitors from around the world.  Freedom's Sisters demonstrates the contributions of African American women who played a significant role in the American Civil Rights Movement.  We are pleased to have the exhibition here in our city – a city that made an impact on the world."



“SITES is pleased to bring ‘Freedom’s Sisters’ to Birmingham and other cities across the country,” said SITES Director Anna Cohn. “The work, vision and lives of these women are truly a cultural and historical touchstone for Americans of all ages and we are excited to share with thousands of others – many of them children – their inspiring and important stories.”


For more information on the Freedom’s Sisters exhibition, visit www.bcri.org or call 1-866-328-9696.  



Freedom’s Sisters Exhibition Honorees

Ella J. Baker

Constance Baker Motley

Shirley Chisholm

Mary Church Terrell

Septima Poinsette Clark

Kathleen Cleaver

Myrlie Evers-Williams

Fannie Lou Hamer

Dorothy Height

Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Barbara Jordan

Mary McLeod Bethune

Rosa Parks

Sonia Sanchez

Coretta Scott King

Betty Shabazz

Harriet Tubman

C. Delores Tucker

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Ida B. Wells





Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 224,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company’s core and affiliated automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury, Volvo and Mazda. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.


Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford operates.  Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2009 and made possible by funding from Ford Motor Company, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy.  National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused auto safety initiative.  The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford's legacy of caring worldwide.  Through the Volunteer Corps, Ford employees and retirees participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit www.community.ford.com.



Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is home to the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater, and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. It is a nationally recognized educational and research resource and one of the top cultural attractions in the Midwest. Cincinnati Museum Center serves more than one million visitors annually, reaching out to almost 200,000 young people through hands-on exhibits and programs. As a center for the community, more than 700 events are held in the building each year. Originally built in 1933 as the Union Terminal train station, the building is a national historic landmark and was renovated and reopened as CincinnatiMuseumCenter in 1990. For information, call (513) 287-7000 or 1-800-733-2077 or visit www.cincymuseum.org.



SITES has been sharing the wealth of Smithsonian collections and research programs with millions of people outside Washington, D.C., for more than 50 years. SITES connects Americans to their shared cultural heritage through a wide range of exhibitions about art, science and history, which are shown wherever people live, work and play. For more information, including exhibition descriptions and tour schedules, visit www.sites.si.edu.



In honor of the courageous struggle against racism and segregation in the South, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) was erected as a monumental guidepost for reconciliation and equality for all mankind.  Its mission is to promote civil and human rights worldwide through education.  Its vision is to be the premier educational center for understanding, healing and respect for all.   Since opening in 1992, the Institute has used multimedia to enhance its facility while telling the story of the American Civil Rights Movement.  In January 2009, BCRI completed the first major renovation of its museum galleries by expanding its story beyond the Birmingham Movement and identifying gains made in the city since that time. The Richard Arrington, Jr. Resource Gallery houses the facility’s Oral History recording studio and provides computer terminals containing excerpts from BCRI’s extensive Oral History Collection and links to related human rights organizations.  Launched in June 2009, the Institute’s new Web site continues to provide BCRI with an opportunity to reach an international audience.  

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