Freedom's Sisters

There Have Always Been Heroes Among Us.

Created by Cincinnati Museum Center and organized for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.
National tour made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund.


See Essay Contest Winners


Click to

See Photos From from the Exhibition Opening Click for more information

September 14, 2011 - January 17, 2012


Much of our national memory of the civil rights movement is embodied by male figureheads whose visibility in boycotts, legal proceedings, and mass demonstrations dominated newspaper and television coverage in the 1950s and ’60s. Missing from that picture is a group of extraordinary women who, while less prominent in the media, shaped much of the spirit and substance of civil rights in America, just as their mothers and grandmothers had done for decades.


Coverage of the exhibition by NBC 4 Los Angeles.  Click here to see the accompanying article and interviews.

"Our country needs women’s idealism and determination,
perhaps more in politics than anywhere else." Shirley Chisolm (1924 - 2005)

Freedom’s Sisters, a collaboration between SITES and Cincinnati Museum Center, brings to life 20 African American women, from key 19th-century historical figures to contemporary leaders, who have fought for equality for all Americans. The exhibition is introduced by a video and electronic projections of strong artistic images that will seize visitors’ emotions. Organized around the themes of "Dare to Dream," "Inspire Lives," "Serve the Public," and "Look to the Future," graphically striking interactive stations tell the stories of Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, Septima Poinsette Clark, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dorothy Height, Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, and 13 other women leaders.

Sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund, Freedom’s Sisters includes educational and community outreach components to facilitate engagement with local audiences.

Featured in the Exhibition:


Ella Jo Baker
Mary McLeod Bethune
Shirley Chisholm
Septima Poinsette Clark
Kathleen Cleaver

Myrlie Evers-Williams
Fannie Lou Hamer
Frances Watkins Harper
Dorothy Irene Height
Charlayne Hunter-Gault

Barbara Charline Jordan
Coretta Scott King
Constance Baker Motley
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks
Sonia Sanchez

Betty Shabazz
Mary Church Terrell
Harriet Ross Greene Tubman
C. Delores Tucker
Ida B. Wells-Barnett

Southern California Freedom's Sisters:

Sandy Banks
Karen Bass
Phoebe Beasley
Daphne Bradford
Charisse Bremond-Weaver
Yvonne Braithwaite Burke
Natalie Cole
Karen Collins
Kimberlé Crenshaw
d’Lisa Davies
Cynthia Davis

Loretta Devine
Bettie Mae Fikes
Glenda A. Gill
“Sweet” Alice Harris
Pat Harvey
LaWanda Hawkins
Karen Hill Scott
Rosie Lee Hooks
Artis Lane
Samella Lewis
Faye W. McClure

Holly J. Mitchell
Lillian Mobley
Denise Nicholas
Denise Pines
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Della Reese
Constance L. Rice
Avis Ridley-Thomas
Holly Robinson-Peete
Betye Saar
Miriam Scott Long

Jacqueline Seabrooks
Jessie L. Sherrod
Helen Singleton
Shirlee Taylor Haizlip
Brenda Travis
Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely
Rita Walters
Kimberly West-Faulcon
Angela B. Winston
Gail E. Wyatt

Related Publications:


Freedom's Sisters, exhibition brochure.
Short biographies and memorable quotes from all the inspiring women featured in the exhibition, including Ella Jo Baker, Shirley Chisholm, Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman.

Download now. FREE.

Exhibition Flyer:

Essay Contest:


Freedom's Sisters flyer. Includes exhibition dates, hours, and admission information.

Download now.


Freedom's Sisters
Essay Contest.
4th - 8th grade students. Download flyer for contest details. 

Download now. FREE.

Education Guide:

Spanish Language Brochure:


Freedom's Sisters Education Guide to the Exibition.
Includes overview, pre and post visit activities, alignment to national standards.

Download now.


Freedom's Sisters
Exhibition brochure in Spanish.

Guía de la Exposición en Español.

Download now. FREE.

Here are a few comments from people who have already seen this exhibition:

  • "Moving experience. I was in awe!! Thank God for these brave women."
  • "Wonderful and very inspirational. It only takes one person to stand up for justice. The present and future generations can learn that from our past."
  • "This is my 4th visit and I learn something new each time!"

Free with Museum admission. MOT members free.

Free underground parking.

Please be considerate of our residential neighbors and make every effort to avoid driving through single-family residential neighborhood streets.

89.3 FM KPCC is an official local sponsor for Freedom's Sisters

Sign Up for E-News

Connect with the Museum

Instagram  Facebook Twitter



Do you have confidence in the strength of democratic institutions in this country?