Freedom’s Sisters: Leaders with Legacy

This Saturday, November 20th, it will be an honor to be a guest speaker signing my book Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success as part the Freedom’s Sisters exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. I could not be more delighted!

This traveling 8-city tour sponsored by the Ford Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibit tells the stories of 20 African American women from the 19th century to today who fought for equality for all Americans.

What is so extraordinary is that their stories are those of courage, vision, and service to a greater good. While they may not have known at the time that their lives, examples, and efforts would be so revered in the future, their legacies tell the real story.

Interestingly enough, many of the civil rights memorials and tributes pay homage to only male figureheads. History records this in newspapers, television coverage, and other news clippings. But, what is not often told is the collective story of African American women freedom fighters and what they did that brought about change. The 20 featured women are grouped under four themes connecting their stories and revealing ways their actions have complimented each other:

• DARE TO DREAM: Harriet Tubman, Ella Jo Baker, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Coretta Scott King, Mary Church Terrell

• INSPIRE LIVES: Mary McLeod Bethune, Dorothy Height, Sonia Sanchez, Betty Shabazz, C. Deloris Tucker, Francis Watkins Harper

• SERVE THE PUBLIC: Rosa Parks, Barbara Jordan, Constance Motley, Shirley Chisholm

• LOOK TO THE FUTURE: Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Septima Clark, Kathleen Cleaver, Myrlie Evers-Williams

Part of my own journey as a young African American leader is documented my book Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success. This account records my journey and service the public as an elected school board leader but also tells how other leaders can be inspired to look to the future.

The Saturday book signing at 1pm is free and open to the public. Better yet, make it a point to visit the exhibit that will be at the Baltimore harbor museum through January. For more information, go to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum website at

-Dawn McCoy, author of Leadership Building Blocks: An Insider’s Guide to Success

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