“We Walk With Harriet”: Women embarking on 116-mile long hike, Tubman Byway
CAMBRIDGE, Md. – A group of eight women are preparing to embark on a more than one-hundred-mile journey this Saturday as they hike the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway from Cambridge to Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
The women range in age from their thirties to sixties and didn’t know each other before May but connected through social media. They’re from D.C., Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland including Cambridge. They’ve been training for the last couple of months and plan to hike 20 miles each day for a total of 116 miles. They were each inspired to take on this challenge for different reasons but the organizer, Linda Harris, says it’s a spiritual and symbolic journey for her.
“Harriet walked to freedom. So I’m feeling like right now I’m not especially free and I thought to myself the best way to start to feel good again is I must walk in the steps Harriet walked,” says Harris. “She’s helping me to heal and helping me to understand what’s really going on here. The only way I can deal with this is to free my mind. Freedom is certainly a word, we know what it means. But it’s also symbolic of releasing the tension, the pain, the fear that I’m feeling because of this political climate and it’s helped me tremendously.”
Harris recently set up a Go Fund Me page where all donations will be given to the Harriett Tubman Museum and Educational Center in Cambridge so that they may, “continue educational outreach about the humanitarian work and efforts of Harriett Tubman.”
One of the other participants, Jennifer Bailey, has organized a fundraising page for World Central Kitchen, which can be found here.
“(Harriet Tubmans’) commitment to humanitarian goals of helping others led her to leave a legacy worth remembering. One of my favorite stories of her, is that in 1896, at the age of 74, she purchased property to realize her vision of the Harriet Tubman Home for Aged and Indigent Negroes in Auburn, New York. Tubman remained committed–and in action–around realizing her humanitarian vision,” says Bailey. “In this spirit, I am campaigning to raise $15,000 in support of World Central Kitchen (WCK), led by Chef Jose Andres. WCK is a humanitarian organization that offers emergency food relief and resiliency programs to those in need.”
Harris says she’s been so inspired by this journey that she even bought a piece of land in Cambridge and plans to open Camp Harriet, a retreat program in the area.
If you’re interested in following their journey, you can visit their Facebook page.