Michigan Freedom Trail Commission

Underground Railroad monument in Battle Creek

The Michigan Freedom Trail Commission preserves, protects and promotes the rich legacy of the Underground Railroad and the antislavery movement in Michigan.

Commission Members

  • Neil A. Barclay, Detroit, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
  • Amanda J. Campbell, Chair, Harrisville, knowledgeable in historic preservation
  • Rochelle E. Danquah, Farmington Hills, Senate Majority Leader
  • Dr. Angela D. Dillard, Ann Arbor, academic community knowledgeable in African American history
  • Roy E. Finkenbine, Livonia, academic community knowledgeable in African American history
  • Tim Gleisner, Lansing, Library of Michigan
  • Jamon Jordan, Detroit, actively involved in civil rights
  • Deidra E. Mayweather, Grand Rapids, general public
  • Robin Peebles, Lansing, Travel Michigan
  • Vivian L. Ritter, Battle Creek, local communities with significant UGRR presence
  • Priscilla D. Robinson, Detroit, member-at-large
  • Jason Young, Ann Arbor, academic community knowledgeable in African American history

4th Annual Heritage Gathering - September-October 2021

The Michigan Freedom Trail Commission and the Michigan History Center, in partnership with the William L. Clements Library, are pleased to announce the 2021 Heritage Gathering schedule.

Thursday Evening Virtual Presentations

This year's program kicks off with weekly virtual presentations in September, to commemorate International Underground Railroad Month. Save the date for these programs, which run 7 - 8:30 p.m. They are free and will take place via Zoom. Detail program descriptions and registration will be available in early August.

  • Sept. 9: Introduction and Background to 1847 Michigan Slave Rescues. Presented by Deanda Johnson, Network to Freedom and Bridget Stryker and staff of Boone County (Kentucky) Library.
  • Sept. 16: The Crosswhite and Robert Cromwell Cases. Presented by Debian Marty and Roy E. Finkenbine.
  • Sept. 23: The Kentucky Raid and John Felix White. Presented by Veta Tucker and Carol Mull.
  • Sept. 30: The Impact of the 1847 Michigan Slave Rescues and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Presented by Richard Blackett.
Annual Heritage Gathering

The annual day-long conference program will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.on Saturday, October 2 at the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. 

The morning sessions includes sessions on resources for the study of the Underground Railroad at the Clements Library and information on how to create an equitable narrative infrastructure around the history of the Underground Railroad. 

A network lunch leads into afternoon presentations on UGRR history, followed by an open discussion about developing a traveling exhibition. 

The full program schedule and registration information will be available in early August. 

2021 Meeting Schedule

In its quest to discover and chronicle the legacy of the Underground Railroad in Michigan, the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission holds quarterly meetings. Unless noted otherwise, all meetings are held in the Commission Room (fifth floor, east wing) in the Michigan Library and Historical Center in Lansing and begin at 11 a.m. Meetings are open to the public.

The Michigan Library and Historical Center is located at 702 West Kalamazoo Street, Lansing. The building and visitor parking are on the north side of Kalamazoo Street, two blocks east of M. L. King Jr. Boulevard.

Commission Documents

Programs and Initiatives

Updated 04/21/2021