Dutchess County Celebrates Black History

POUGHKEEPSIE – As the nation this month celebrates the achievements and contributions African Americans have made and continue to make, Dutchess County is sponsoring free Black History Month events highlighting and invites residents to participate.

Dutchess County’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee invited residents to attend a free Black History Month lunch-and-learn virtual event on Tuesday, February 7th, from 11 a.m. to noon. Dr. Deanna Kimbrel, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practitioner, educator, entrepreneur, and executive leader for the past 17 years, joined a representative from the Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross to discuss the organization’s 2023 Black History Month theme, Black Excellence is in Our Blood.

Dutchess County Government is also sponsoring a free virtual presentation on February 23rd at 7 p.m. by Dutchess County Historical Society Executive Director Bill Jeffway, who will discuss the introduction of a forthcoming interpretive trail that links the Walkway Over the Hudson to Poughkeepsie’s College Hill Park and shares the stories of Black residents with a new generation of visitors. The western end of the new Walkway Freedom Trail will introduce the story of Sojourner Truth and local efforts to assist freedom seekers passing through the area. The eastern end of the trail is anchored at College Hill Park, where Frederick Douglass electrified an audience of thousands during his August 1858 visit to Poughkeepsie. Between these two points, visitors will learn the stories of otherwise forgotten individuals who demonstrated the moral courage and determination to strive in the face of oppression and prejudice. For more information on the trail and RSVP instructions on the program, please visit https://dchsny.org/walkway-freedom.

Josayne Anderson-Tejera, Equal Employment Opportunity and Inclusion Officer for Dutchess County Government, said, “Whether they be historical, cultural, political, or economic achievements, the accomplishments of Black Americans have led to a more advanced and thriving community – globally, nationally and locally. Dutchess County is proud to inspire current and future generations to similarly contribute to the vivid tapestry that is the county in which we live, work, and raise our families. We look forward to ongoing County-sponsored events, which will help ensure the legacy of African Americans in Dutchess County will always be remembered.”

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