Tubman conference meets 10th year

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
The program for this year’s Harriet Tubman UGRR Conference announces the meetings’ theme, “It Ran on Faith”.

CAMBRIDGE — The 10th Annual Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Conference was held at Chesapeake College’s Cambridge branch on May 31 and June 1, attracting visitors and experts from around the country to discuss the life and legacy of “The Moses of her People.” This year’s theme was “It Ran on Faith,” a nod to the spiritual strength that powered the escape routes of fleeing slaves.

The effects of Tubman’s work in guiding others to freedom continue to be felt. Conference leader Ellen Mousin said, “Harriet Tubman is still a leader people are inspired by.”

Ms. Mousin said the Underground Railroad was not only a system for guiding people North, it also served as a model for the later civil rights movement.

The conference itself has also grown over the years. “It’s not just about Harriet Tubman,” Ms. Mousin said. “There were so many other brave people.”

So many people, and so many subjects to explore, in fact, that the conference seems to have taken on a life of its own. “When we started, we didn’t expect it to continue more than a couple of years,” Ms. Mousin wrote in the event’s program. “But here it is 10 years later. We’ve all worked to figure out how to make this a special conference for learning, networking, dreaming, caring and walking in Harriet’s shoes, each in our own way.”

The conference was held in cooperation with the Harriet Tubman Museum, near the college on Race Street. The program notes that the original conference committee included William Jarmon, Shirley Jackson, Mary Denard, Royce Sampson and John Creighton. “The kind of faith these people had was amazing,” Ms. Mousin wrote.

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