One America - Network to Freedom Interpretive Studies Program

Program: Network to Freedom Interpretive Studies Program, Goldboro, NC
Contact(s): Addie L. Richburg, National Director: (919) 778-4851
Purpose: To provide a history lesson on race in America

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Named in support of the Network to Freedom Act of 1997, the Network to Freedom Interpretive Studies Program (NTFIS) started in 1997 as a comprehensive, three-phase project that allows youth to study race-related events in American and South African history.

Program Operations

In partnership with several organizations, NTFIS has young people study the Underground Railroad and the Civil Rights Movement so they can understand the history of race relations in America, learn positive values, and recognize the importance of working together as a team. The program is offered over 10 weeks in three phases. Participation is open to students of all races, ages 11 to 17. In the first phase of the project, NTFIS offers a 28-day study of the Underground Railroad and race relations for students. Participants take training sessions on cultural diversity, conflict management and survival skills. The program's effectiveness is evaluated during a seminar on race relations that is held at the end of the 28-day study. The second phase of the program has students learn about the Civil Rights Movement and participate in a history lesson exploring the different avenues to freedom that slaves used, which covers up to 10 states and Canada. In the third phase of the program, participants study race relations in South Africa, including democracy, human rights and the evolution of slavery.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

Over 1,500 U.S. and international students have graduated from the program.

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Network to Freedom Interpretive Studies Program

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