Faculty Working Group – Breakfast Meeting
Grace Sanders Johnson, Assistant Professor, Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania
Harriet’s Hike: Ecological Literacy for Girls
Harriet’s Hike pairs Harriet Tubman’s legacy as an Underground Railroad “conductor,” spatial navigator, and environmental savant in the nineteenth century Delaware Valley region with current socio-environmental conditions, storytelling, and ecological literacy for girls and elder women in Philadelphia. Tubman’s journeys necessitated an intimate relationship to the land, extensive community networks, and literacy. Partnered with the Beckett Life Center—a housing complex and resource center—in North Philadelphia, Harriet’s Hike translates these nineteenth century concerns to the twenty-first century by combining a community call for literacy, intergenerational mentoring, and environmental justice, with community cartography, urban gardening, vegetation study, debris disposal/recycling, and walking, as the women prepare for the annual culminating project of a 27 mile walk from Philadelphia to the Tubman-Garrett Park in Wilmington, DE.