AUBURN — On Friday, March 31, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Harriet Tubman Downtown Memorial Committee will host a dessert reception in the Havana Room of the Phoenix Building, 2 South St., to kick off its fundraising campaign.
The committee seeks to commission an artist to create a memorial sculpture in honor of Harriet Tubman to publicly proclaim Auburn’s pride in being Tubman’s chosen home for over 50 years; to raise awareness of Tubman’s contributions to Auburn and her lifelong work as a champion of human rights; and to inspire future generations through her courageous example. The Committee is also working to fund additional community projects, artwork and opportunities that will honor Tubman.
The joint committee of Celebrate! Diverse Auburn and the Harriet Tubman Boosters, both organizations of the Harriet Tubman Center for Justice and Peace, comprises Chair Debra Rose Brillati, Laurel Ullyette of Harriet Tubman Boosters, City Councilor Jimmy Giannettino, City Clerk Chuck Mason, Stephanie DeVito and Jesse Kline of Downtown Auburn BID, Katie Macintyre of Generations Bank, Artist Audrey Iwanicki, and Cayuga County Legislator Ryan Foley.
The free dessert reception will feature comments by Tubman descendant Pauline Copes-Johnson, as well as representatives of the city of Auburn, Cayuga County, State Assembly, Harriet Tubman Boosters, Celebrate! Diverse Auburn, Auburn/Cayuga NAACP, Generations Bank, and Downtown Auburn Business Improvement District.
Entertainment will be provided by the Auburn Community Choir, Sean McLeod, and students from Genesee Elementary School who will perform an original song about Harriet Tubman. Also, Auburn High School student and Tubman relative Tamara Broome will perform as a living statue of Tubman for the kick-off event. Traditional African-American desserts will be served along coffee, tea and wine.
A 3-by-5-foot “Harriet Tubman” quilt, a textile portrait created by Blake Chamberlain, will be displayed. Funds raised by Committee will be used to purchase this quilt for later display in the Central New York Regional Welcome Center in downtown Auburn, once the facility is built next summer.
For more information or to donate, visit honorharrietauburnny.com. Donations may also be made by check payable to Harriet Tubman Memorial, and sent to 144 Genesee St., Suite 102 - 122, Auburn, NY 13021.