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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Office of University Communications                                   

Contact: Kim Betton, (202) 238-2332

CELEBRATING WASHINGTON, DC, EMANCIPATION DAY, AND THE LEGACY OF
MARY CHURCH TERRELL (1863-1954)

(April 13, 2005- Washington, DC)  – In celebration of Washington, DC, Emancipation Day, April 16, 1862, the Howard University Community Association, in partnership with Howard’s Public History Program and the Robert and Mary Church Terrell House and LeDroit Park Museum and Cultural Center, is sponsoring a symposium, “Lifting as We Climb: Mary Church Terrell, From Emancipation to Desegregation” on Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16.  The symposium is being held to raise public awareness about the life and work of Mary Church Terrell -- one of the 20th century’s foremost African-American female leaders and explore the vision for a museum and cultural center to illuminate and preserve her legacy.  The museum would be housed at the Howard University-owned Mary Church Terrell House, a national historic landmark located at 326 T Street, NW, in the celebrated LeDroit Park historic district. 

Howard University is beginning the restoration of the Mary Church Terrell House and as this process proceeds, a first step in planning for the adaptive reuse of the building is broadening the dialogue between scholars, the community, and museum professionals about Mary Church Terrells’ legacy of activism, achievement and leadership, and defining the special niche for a museum and cultural center that honors this important heritage.  The symposium will serve as a forum for that dialogue.  A lively discussion with valuable contributions from the audience is anticipated.

An opening ceremony will be held on Friday, April 15 from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at Terrell Place, 575 Seventh St., NW, the site of the old Hecht Co. where Mary Church Terrell picketed during her campaign to restore the “lost” civil rights laws of 1872 and 1873. Deborah Newman Ham, Ph.D., professor of  history at Morgan State University, will deliver the keynote address, “Mary Church Terrell, Renaissance Woman.”  

On Saturday, April 16, from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. the symposium will feature three panels.  On the first panel, Sharon Harley, Ph.D., chair and associate professor, Department of African American Studies at the University of Maryland; Raymond L. Langston, chair, Historical Commission, Highland Beach, Maryland, and grandson of Mary Church Terrell; and Lauretta Chambers Jackson, LeDroit Park historian, will discuss the historical context of the life and times of Mary Church Terrell.  On the second panel, Yohuru Williams, Ph.D., associate professor of history and director, Graduate Studies, Delaware State University; and Sylvia Hill, Ph.D., professor, criminal justice and co-director of the Institute for Public Safety and Justice, University of the District of Columbia, and vice chair of TransAfrica Forum, will discuss Mary Church Terrell’s national and international impact.

Panelists for the afternoon session will be Thomas C. Battle, Ph.D., director, Howard University Moorland-Spingarn Research Center; Niani Kilkenny, museum and humanities consultant and immediate past director of the Smithsonian Institution’s program in African American Culture, Zora Martin Felton, Chief of Education, emeritus, Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture; Joy Kinard, park ranger, Mary McLeod Bethune Council House; and Jeffrey Harris of National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Historic Places Initiative, will lead a discussion on the bold vision and unique niche for a museum and cultural center to be located at the historic Mary Church Terrell House. For more information contact Alice Aughtry, chair, Robert & Mary Church Terrell House and LeDroit Park Museum & Cultural Center, 202-667-8234.

Howard University is one of 48 U.S. private, Doctoral/Research-Extensive universities and comprises 12 schools and colleges. Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, a Truman Scholar, six Fulbright Scholars and nine Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D.s than any other university in the world.     For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University’s web site at www.Howard.edu

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