SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Doris Turner supported a measure to bring awareness to the history of the Underground Railroad in Illinois, which was signed into law Friday. Turner UndergroundRailroad

“It’s time we bring to light our history that led us to where we are today,” said Turner (D-Springfield). “Illinois played a crucial role in freeing slaves and we need to recognize the pioneers who fought for the rights of African Americans, giving them the freedom and justice they deserved.”

The Turner-backed law creates the Underground Railroad Task Force for the purpose of developing a statewide plan to connect existing local projects and new projects to create a cohesive statewide history of the Underground Railroad in Illinois, while developing new educational and tourism opportunities.

The task force will identify where historical sites are located, connections they may have to one another, and will paint a picture to recognize the history of the Underground Railroad in Illinois. It will also introduce educational and tourism opportunities throughout the state.

“We have to be able to tell our story,” Turner said. “This was something I was proud to support. It will create opportunities for students to learn what happened right here in Illinois in the 1800s and be able to share our story to future generations for years to come.”

Senate Bill 1623 takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Category: Press Releases

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