Illinois freedom project

About Us

Project Overview:

The Illinois Freedom Project is a web based youth focused multimedia project that provides resources to teach the interconnected story of slavery to freedom through the lens of people, places and events in Illinois from eighteenth century French settlements through early twentieth century Chicago. This web site features videos that, not only illustrates the many Illinois places that relate to the slavery to freedom story but also the perspectives of young people as they learn about these stories and places. The goal of the project is to teach history, but also to inspire youth by presenting stories of victory through adversity.

Project Partners:

  • Abraham Lincoln National Heritage Area
  • Boys and Girls Club of Central Illinois
  • Illinois Bureau of Tourism
  • Illinois Historic Preservation Agency
  • National Park Foundation
  • National Park Service
  • Organization of American Historians
  • The Outlet
  • Phi Beta Sigma-Sigma Beta Club
  • Springfield Frontiers

Project Team:

  • Erin Bishop, historic content development
  • Justin Blandford, project coordinator
  • Brian Crowdson, video production
  • Paris Ervin Doyle, promotion, video editing
  • Clarice Ford, education consultant
  • Kevin Ford, on camera video host, advisor
  • Larry Hemingway, youth leader
  • Mark Johnson, historic content consultant
  • Mike Kienzler, text content editor
  • Pam King, education consultant
  • Antonio Neal, music
  • Mike Phelon, logo and web design, youth leader
  • Lottie Phillips, graduate student researcher
  • Justin Rose, youth leader
  • Paula Seifert, education consultant
  • Aidan Smith, project support
  • Derrick Stapleton, youth leader
  • Tim Townsend, project coordinator
  • Chris Vallillo, music
  • Tom Willcockson, cartographer