Harriet Tubman Freedom Trail Project receives $400,000 grant
Project to highlight Tubman and her work
Gov. Kathy Hochul made a stop in Johnson City Wednesday to talk about her 2024 Executive Budget proposal and announce the funding of projects that will invest in the area. Included in those investments is a $400,000 grant to the Harriet Tubman Center for Freedom and Equity at Binghamton University.
The grant will support the Harriet Tubman Freedom Trail project, which includes erection of a statue at the University Downtown Center and placement of 12 historical markers denoting Underground Railroad stops and other anti-slavery sites. The project also includes development of programming for five local K-12 public schools.
“This will be an incredible part of the story for the area for tourists, and become a matter of civic pride,” Hochul said. “It’s the brainchild of Anne Bailey, professor of history and director of the center, and I’ll be back to see that statue.”
“Along with our associate director, Sharon Bryant, our steering committee, staff and students of the Harriet Tubman Center, I am extremely grateful to the governor for this support,” said Bailey. “We hope all will be inspired to continue Tubman’s work advancing freedom and equity. Much has been done but there is still much to do!”
“The Harriet Tubman Center has become an integral part of Binghamton University’s efforts to celebrate diversity and welcome people of all backgrounds on our campus,” said President Harvey Stenger. “The Freedom Trail Project will now bring the center’s work into the community in a meaningful way.”
In a news conference held at the Schorr Family Firehouse State in Johnson City, Hochul also underscored the highlights of her budget proposal and announced that the Village of Johnson City is a winner in the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which will bring $10 million to the village to help transform its downtown into a vibrant center and a magnet for redevelopment, business, job creation and economic and housing diversity.
Johnson City Mayor Marty Meaney called the groundbreaking of the University’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2015 as the start of Johnson City’s downtown revitalization.
“When we originally envisioned our Health Sciences Campus in Johnson City, we believed it would help revitalize Johnson City in a way that our University Downtown Center has aided Binghamton,” Stenger said. “With critical support from New York state, the Health Sciences Campus continues to grow and have a positive impact on the Village of Johnson City.
“The support Binghamton University has received for this campus from New York state has been critical to its growth and has allowed us to bring students, faculty and staff to the village.” Stenger added. “The announcement that Johnson City has been awarded $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funding will help continue the transformation already underway, making the village a place where entrepreneurs and business owners will want to locate.”