Sometimes the contributions of women get lost. In the retelling of history, things men have done are allowed to overshadow the things women did, especially African-American women.

But on Oct. 23, when the ninth and final stop of the Freedom Sisters traveling exhibit opens at the Reginald Lewis Museum, there will be an opportunity for people around the region to change that.

The Freedom Sisters Exhibit – a collaboration between the Cincinnati Museum Center and the Smithsonian Institution made possible by a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund – highlights the lives of 20 African-American women. The life stories of these women, from historical figures to contemporary role models, show their strength and courage as each fought for equality for all people.

From Harriet Tubman and Mary Church Terrell to Constance Baker Motley and Sonia Sanchez, this multimedia exhibit tells a story that is sure to captivate people of all ages, genders and races.

But this isn’t only an exhibit. Freedom Sisters is a movement that includes community outreach and educational activities. It is designed not only for people to come and see it, but to learn from it in ways they can live going forward.

For students in grades four through eight, there is an essay contest. Students are asked to write 250-500 words on the subject: Who is your favorite Freedom Sister and why? What are you doing to continue her legacy? The contest opens on Oct. 23 and ends Nov. 22 and prizes for first, second and third place along with three runner-up prizes will be awarded. The contest is designed for student to not only reflect on the contributions of the honorees but also on the women they see around them every day.

Many of the living legends included in the exhibit, have participated at the various stops and this time is no different. Dr. Dorothy I. Height, until her illness and death this summer, was a fixture at every stop on the tour. Others that have participated include Sonia Sanchez, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Kathleen Cleaver and Myrlie Evers-Williams.

The Reginald Lewis Museum has scheduled related activities. A two-part series – “Life Stories, Maryland Freedom Sisters” – is scheduled, which features the contributions of Maryland women in health and politics. They are also showing documentaries, as part of the Sundays @ 2 Film series, of African-American women educators, activists and politicians.

For more information about the exhibit, events and museum times, please visit them on the web at or call 443-263-1800.