Mayor Jackson-Stanley reflects on Harriet Tubman Center opening
CAMBRIDGE — Mayor of Cambridge Victoria Jackson-Stanley has said that Harriet Tubman is a hero of hers, and she is thrilled to see Tubman’s contribution recognized with the grand opening of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center on Saturday, March 11.
“I think that the opening of the Tubman Visitor Center during National Women’s Histor y Month, and immediately following African American History Month, is significant because her story
and her contributions to this great country have long been overlooked,” Jackson-Stanley said. “The fact that Harriet is an African American female makes me all the more proud of how a woman, an extraordinary woman, saw what was needed to be done for her people and family completed her task.
“Once the original task was completed she moved on to assist those impacted by the civil war. I can only hope my work for this community can have a portion of her impact on the lives of the people that I represent.”
Jackson-Stanley has long advocated for proper recognition of Tubman’s life and work, here in Dorchester County and on Capitol Hill.
“Harriet Tubman was a little woman with a giant determination to do good for her family and her people,” she said. “I hope that everyone throughout our city, county, state and nation will take the time to visit the Center and learn more about this woman of courage and selflessness.”
In the 1990’s, she was involved, under the leadership of sorority sister Evelyn Townsend, with the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority that helped to raise funding for the original Harriet Tubman Association. She later worked with the Ross family to redevelop the mural in the state property on Washington Street in Cambridge.
Along with other representatives from the State of Maryland, Dorchester County, and the City of Cambridge, Jackson-Stanley travelled to our nation’s capital for Harriet on the Hill.
“I advocated where I could to keep the message of the Harriet Tubman Organization alive in our community, vital to those in power, and I stood with others in the Oval Office as President Barack Obama signed the By-Way proclamation,” Jackson-Stanley said.
The first female and first African-American mayor of Cambridge, Jackson-Stanley has herself been recognized by the Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for her contributions to the community.
She received the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award in 2015 from Franchot. The award is presented to individuals and organizations, in each county and Baltimore City, who exemplify Shaefer’s lifelong commitment to helping people, according to the Comptroller’s Office.
The Dorchester County NAACP presented her with a community service award at their annual Freedom Fund banquet.
Civic involvement is important to Jackson-Stanley, and she also serves her community through involvement with the Maryland Democratic Party, Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay, and her membership with Waugh Chapel United Methodist Church.
In addition to the contributions of Harriet Tubman being recognized, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the height of the civil rights movement in Cambridge, particularly the fire on Pine Street. The anniversary will be recognized with a four-day event in July, Reflections on Pine, organized by the Eastern Shore Network for Change.
In reference to the events of 50 years ago, she said, “I believe Dorchester County and the City of Cambridge has a long history of civil involvement, dating back to the early 1900’s. Our young people now have an opportunity to see how the African Americans of our community have made important contributions regarding our hometown.”
Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, left, presents Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford with a Harriet Tubman painting at the Black History Month ceremony at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cambridge on Feb. 11.