Underground Railroad Research Institute at Georgetown College.
The Underground Railroad Research Institute at Georgetown College was established in May 2001 by President William H. Crouch for the purpose of promoting education and cultural understanding among students, communities, and the nation.
The UGRRI makes national and international efforts to preserve, interpret and commemorate Underground Railroad sites in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean; these efforts were initiated by the National Parks Service in 1990. The resulting research highlighted the centrality and far-reaching effect of Kentucky’s involvement in the American slave trade as well as creation of national and international Underground Railroad story. In an effort to further Kentucky research and acknowledge our national and international influence, Georgetown College, in agreement with the National Park Service, the Kentucky Heritage Council, State Historic Preservation Office and the US Department of Education has established the Underground Railroad Research Institute. The Institute will join forces with individuals, public agencies and organizations conducting research locally, nationally and internationally, to broaden understanding of American diversity through creation of a more inclusive American history with a focus on the Colonial through the Progressive Era.
The Underground Railroad Research Institute celebrates the role of African Americans as creators of American history. The Institute will examine the far-reaching effects of resistance to slavery and racism, the results of which guaranteed public policy and civil right laws for the benefit of all Americans.
The UGRRI strives to live up to its mission by fulfilling three primary goals: Learning, Growing and Sharing.
- Learning: Funded by Georgetown College, the U.S. Department of Education, the Kentucky Heritage Council, and the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission, the Institute has formed important network partnerships with the National Park Service, and other organizations and communities throughout the nation. However, it is the primary purpose of the Institute to:
- explore and document the historical, social, political, and economic contributions of Native Americans, African Americans, women, and anti-slavery Europeans in creating today’s America
- gather, identify, map, document and distribute literature on known escape routes, stories, personalities and events.
- Growing: By offering important academic internships and study opportunities to students with varying academic interests and research goals, the Institute seeks to incorporate previously overlooked history into American record necessary to
- expand the dialogue on race, culture, violence, and ethnicity in our state and nation.
- provide aid in documenting Underground Railroad sites eligible for historic designation and commemoration.
- Sharing: By working with other local, state, regional, national and international Underground Railroad programs, the Institute, seeks to establish a network of interested partners, committed to accurate documentation and preservation of the Underground Railroad story. To this end, the Institute:
- supports local, regional national and international efforts to preserve and interpret the Underground Railroad story, sites, personalities, and events, including those that may not qualify for national recognition.
- establishes a community of education that fosters discussion, provides technical and research assistance to empower communities and organizations in the research and preservation of Underground Railroad history, which varies from region to region and from state to state.
- provides a central location for accessing and distributing information, documents, archival data, and artifacts associated with the Underground Railroad.