FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Contact: Maryland Department of Transportation Public Affairs
David Broughton, 410-865-1029
Jim Joyner, 410-865-1030
GLEN BURNIE (June 16, 2023) – In celebration of Juneteenth, the Maryland Department of Transportation's Cultural Resources Division has unveiled new Harriet Tubman banners at the Motor Vehicle Administration's Glen Burnie branch. The banners highlight the life and legacy of Maryland's famed abolitionist and conductor on the Underground Railroad, as well as transportation related artifacts discovered by Maryland Department of Transportation archaeologists at Harriet Tubman's Birthplace.
“We're proud to feature Harriet Tubman and the archaeological discoveries from her birthplace on Maryland's Eastern Shore," said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “Placing these banners at the Motor Vehicle Administration gives us a convenient, accessible opportunity to inform and engage Marylanders about her extraordinary legacy."
Harriet Tubman was born Araminta “Minty" Ross in 1822 on the Eastern Shore in Dorchester County. In 1849, she escaped slavery and, over the next 10 years, served as a conductor on the Underground Railroad, returning to Maryland more than a dozen times to lead others to freedom.
“The MVA is honored to host these banners and provide our customers with an opportunity to examine Maryland history during their visit to our branches," said Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “Our staff is proud of the work we do every day to serve our customers and honoring an inspirational leader like Harriet Tubman is a wonderful extension of that Maryland pride."
During the past three years, Maryland Department of Transportation archaeologists have conducted excavations at Harriet Tubman's birthplace and have made significant discoveries surrounding how enslaved people lived 200 years ago.
“Our goal as archaeologists is to share our discoveries with the public in unique and accessible ways. The Motor Vehicle Administration banners are only the beginning of our campaign to engage our customers and the traveling public in learning about Maryland history," said Dr. Julie Schablitsky, Chief of Cultural Resources for the Maryland Department of Transportation.
The new Harriet Tubman banners will remain at the Glen Burnie branch for about two months before traveling to other Motor Vehicle Administration branches. The Glen Burnie branch offers MVA services by appointment, and houses satellite services for the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, TSA PreCheck and others. Click here for more information on the Glen Burnie branch.
Look for updates on which branch the banners will move to next on the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.
Maryland Department of Transportation and MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration employees with the new Harriet Tubman banners at the MVA Glen Burnie Branch. From left: front row, Sarah Janesko, Betty Marshall MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, MDOT Chief of Cultural Resources Dr. Julie Schablitsky, Jessica Mundt, Ali Anwar and Rolando Dioses; back row, Bruce Chaillou, Patrick Strauch, Joseph Hargrove, Clarence Edmond, Joe Reese, Madison Lumpkin and Gregory Leftwich.
The public is invited to see the new Harriet Tubman banners as they travel across the state and are encouraged to take photos with the banners and post them on social media using the hashtag #MDOTTubmanTravels.