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In the years before the Civil War, the Underground Railroad was a secret network of people places that helped fugitive slaves escape to freedom. The runaways took refuge amidst the fields, thickets, swamps, and waterways of the slave states. Following these byways to Northern towns, they gained assistance and shelter from abolitionists and sympathizers who guided them along their way. Today, these former Underground Railroad stations remain as landmarks to the historic struggle, while countless undocumented sites stand forgotten, in disrepair, and at risk of being destroyed.
Under the theme R.I.D.E. The Underground Railroad, the Menare Foundation engages communities in the following ways to preserve this important history:
RESTORE what is in danger of destruction. Preserve and maintain what is left of the Underground Railroad for present and future generations.
INTERPRET Underground Railroad history through innovative programs. Bring the story of slavery and the struggle for freedom to life as an example of inspiration in the present.
DOCUMENT and authenticate Underground Railroad sites by providing primary source records and verifying oral histories.
EDUCATE people about the Underground Railroad movement and its relevancy in the modern world through the creation of interactive programs, lectures, publications, films and study guides for educators and students.
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