ANNAPOLIS U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., was presented the 2012 Harriet Ross Tubman Lifetime Achievement Award by the Maryland African American Tourism Council for her continued service to the people of Maryland, as well as her work to promote the life and legacy of Harriet Tubman.
She was presented the award by Gov. Martin O'Malley along with Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Louis Fields, president of the African American Tourism Council of Maryland, accompanied by descendants of the Ross-Tubman family. The award presentation was the kickoff to the Harriet Ross Tubman Day of Remembrance across Maryland.
"I'm so honored to receive this fantastic award, but we are here today to honor Harriet Tubman's life and legacy," Mikulski said.
"Harriet Tubman was a courageous fighter who delivered hundreds of slaves to freedom on her Underground Railroad. She was tireless in her commitment to fight for those who could not fight themselves. If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Harriet Tubman knew that, and so do I. Her legacy continues to inspire me. I am proud to fight every day for the freedom and equality she dedicated her life to."
The Maryland African American Tourism Council has selected Mikulski for her commitment to honoring the legacy of Tubman by ensuring her story is told to inspire future generations though the establishment of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historic Park.
In February 2011, she signed onto legislation in the Senate to establish the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Historical Park in Dorchester County, where Harriet Tubman made her escape to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
The bill also establishes the Harriet Tubman National Historical Park in Auburn, N.Y., to commemorate her activist work in the women's suffrage movement and her role as a caregiver, establishing an elderly home for African-Americans.
Mikulski has secured nearly $1 million in federal funds to support the design and construction of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Historical Park Visitor's Center and recreational facilities, which will support local jobs and establish a fitting tribute where people can learn about Harriet Tubman's story the power of her ingenuity, her bravery and courage.