PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – (Oct. 7, 2011) – Students and faculty from UMES joined two busloads of grassroots lobbyists from the Eastern Shore, including Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson Stanley, in a recent trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in “Harriet on the Hill” day.
The group met up on Capitol Hill Sept. 14 with supporters from Morgan State University, the town of Auburn, N.Y. and descendants of Harriet Tubman, an important historical figure who helped slaves escape to freedom in the 19th century.
The 150 “Harriet” supporters were advocating for passage of federal legislation that would create a national historical park honoring Tubman at two locations — one in Maryland and the other in upstate New York. Maryland’s Eastern Shore is where Tubman, or “Moses” as she was called, was born into slavery, escaped, led the Underground Railroad and became a Union spy in the Civil War. Auburn, N.Y. is where she lived in later years with her family, advocated for women’s suffrage and died at age 93.
“Participating in the rally … was an eye-opening experience,” said LaBasha Alexander, a UMES English major. “There is an exceptional amount of history on the Eastern Shore. Being involved in ‘Harriet on the Hill’ day has shown me why a Tubman national park is necessary.”
Before heading to Washington, UMES students did research by studying lobbying strategies with Sally Grant Kenyon, an aide to Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley who works toward passage of bills important to the state.
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