2009 National Underground Railroad Conference Agenda

On Wednesday through Saturday, September 16 – 19, an important and fascinating national event convenes at the Hilton Hotel in Indianapolis North: the 2009 National Underground Railroad Conference. The deadline for registration mail-ins, however, is today.

The conference is produced by the “Friends of the Network to Freedom” association, and carries the title “Freedom Trails at the Crossroads: Paths to Telling the Underground Railroad Story Through History, Teaching and Technology.”  This is the Third Annual Summit for the National Underground Railroad Conference.

The 2009 Underground Railroad Conference is an inspiring and fun Indianapolis event for both adults and children in Indianapolis and other cities in Indiana.

National Underground Railroad Conference Agenda

Wednesday, Sept. 16:

9 am – 4 pm (pre-conference tour)
Underground Railroad Tour: The Northern Route
Visit some of the most historic sites of the Underground Railroad, including  a stop at the famous Coffin home, which was considered the Underground Railroad’s Grand Central Station. You’ll also see some early 19th century African American settlements.

  • 5  pm – 6 pm
  • 6 pm – 8 pm
    Reception, Friends of the Network to Freedom

Thursday, Sept. 17

  • 7:30 am
  • 8 am – 9:30 am
    Breakfast and Friends of the Network to Freedom meeting
  • 10 am – 11:45 am
    Opening ceremony
    Dr. Keith Griffler, African American Studies at New York’s Buffalo State University, the conference’s keynote speaker, delivers his address
  • 12 – 1:30 pm
  • 1:45 pm – 3:30 pm
    Session 1: Clarifying myths and realities surrounding the Underground Railroad
  • 3:45 pm – 5:15 pm
    Session 2: Historic and scared places in America
  • Session 3: The influence of Hoosier women in the fight for freedom
  • 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm
    Dinner and a show at Freetown Village Inc‘s delightful dinner theatre venue

Friday, Sept. 18

  • 8 am
  • 9 am – 12:15 pm
    Workshops for historical re-enactments.
  • Session 1: “The Business of Living History”
  • Session 2: “History Comes Alive”
  • Session 3: “Community Partnerships and Telling the Story”
  • Session 4: “Indiana Quakers” and the Black Midwest migration
  • Session 5: “Legal and Geographical Freedom Routes”
  • Session 6: “Rebellion, Revolt and Insurrection”
  • 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • 1:45 pm – 2:45 pm
    Keynote speaker Dr. Margaret Washington
  • 3 pm – 4:30 pm
    Session 7: “Digging for Freedom”
  • Session 8: “Education, Religion and the Underground Railroad”
  • Session 9: “The Atlantic Slave Trade Database”
  • 6 pm – 9 pm (tour)
    “Experience Indianapolis” – a captivating walking tour through the Indianapolis downtown district along the famous Indianapolis Canal Walk and nearby Indianapolis cultural district, Indiana Avenue. Be regaled by Kisha Tandy from the Indiana State Museum, and hit some centerpieces of African American history in the Midwest, such as the Madame C. J. Walker Theatre building.

Saturday, Sept. 19

8:30 am – 4:30 pm (post-conference tour)
Underground Railroad Tour: The Northern Route
A tour to various points of interest along the Underground Railroad’s Southern Indiana route in Lancaster and Madison, Indiana.

For details on the entire conference schedule, visit the website
For more information on the conference in general, click here

Read an article about Westfield, Indiana’s part in the Underground Railroad
See details about some awesome Indianapolis Ghost Walk Tours, including the “Haunted Underground Railroad Walking Tour”
Read about the historic Hannah House, famous Underground Railroad stop in downtown Indianapolis
Read about the interesting and diverse elements of Indianapolis society, culture and community

Underground Railroad Conference: “Network to Freedom”
September 16 – 19, 2009

The Hilton Hotel is in the northeastern Indianapolis sector, between Fishers and Lawrence, just outside the I-465 loop that encircles the Circle City.

Hilton Indianapolis North Hotel
8181 N Shadeland Av
Indianapolis, IN 46250