Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc

Learn the Past, Be the Present, Create the Future®

aka Underground Railroad Education Center   |   Albany, NY   |  undergroundrailroadhistory.org

Mission

Underground Railroad Education Center researches and preserves the local and national history of the Underground Railroad movement, its international connections, and its legacy for today’s social justice issues, thereby empowering people of all ages to be agents of change toward an equitable and just society.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence is a National Register Historic Site, one of 26 sites on the NYS Underground Railroad Freedom Trail, a National Park Service Network to Freedom Site, an Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Partner Site, a NYS Path Through History Site, and a Hudson River Valley National Heritage Corridor Site. The Myers Residence has been awarded the 2015 Preservation Initiative Award - Stewardship and Exterior Restoration, and the 2016 New York State Historic Preservation Award - Project Achievement.

Underground Railroad History Project is a small shop with a huge impact! We strive to create empowering opportunities for people to Learn the Past, Be the Present, Create the Future ®

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Ms. Mary Elizabeth Stewart

Main address

194 Livingston Avenue

Albany, NY 12210 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

56-2389806

NTEE code info

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

History Museums (A54)

Commemorative Events (A84)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2019, 2018 and 2017.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Underground Railroad History Project Programs

* Conduct an annual public history conference attracting about 300 persons with nationally known speakers, historians, preservationists, teachers, young people, elderly, artists, musicians, vendors and community members
* Conduct walking and other tours in Albany, Troy and Schenectady on the Underground Railroad
* Publish a three-times-a-year newsletter on Underground Railroad topics
* Provide presentations and workshops in the community at libraries, and for community groups, and schools
* Restoring of Stephen and Harriet Myers National Register Historic Site - a documented UGRR site
* Conduct Young Abolitionist Teen Scholars' Institute annually
* Host July 4th Oration annually

Population(s) Served
Adults

Each year Underground Railroad History Project offers a diverse, multi-age focused conference exploring the story of the Underground Railroad, its legacy and its relevance for us today. The conference is interactive with offerings of lectures, dance, drumming, exhibits, hands on activities, gathering together scholars, preservationists, educators, teens, artists and the general public.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Young adults

The Young Abolitionists Teen Scholars' Institute is an inter-disciplinary, service learning experience designed for urban, suburban, and rural teens aged 14-18 years that is intended to enrich classroom learning and develop leadership, literacy and work readiness skills. Using the venue of The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence, a documented Underground Railroad site located in historic Arbor Hill in the city of Albany, the participating teens learn about local Underground Railroad history and its relationship with them today as they work in small, self-selected focus groups preserving that history in various formats, investigating its relevancy for today, and making it available for the education and edification of the general public. The design of the project offers an enriching, intellectually stimulating program that encourages civic responsibility, positive behavior choices, and racial reconciliation while building literacy, work readiness, collaboration and leadership skills.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Reclaiming the grandeur of an 1847 Greek Revival, three story, ten room residence that was the home of African American abolitionists Stephen and Harriet Myers, central figures in the Underground Railroad Movement in the Capital Region of New York State. Stephen Myers was born enslaved in New York State and upon his manumission in 1818 rose quickly to a central activist position among Underground Railroad activists in the Capital Region of New York State. The restoration has contributed to community revitalization, creation of jobs, and paradigm changing educational programs that engage local, state, national, and international visitors.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Accreditations

National Register of Historic Places 2004

International Coalition of Sites of Conscience 2017

National Park Service Network to Freedom 2003

Underground Railroad Consortium of NYS 2015

Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) 2017

Awards

The Sense of Place 2005

Historic Albany Foundation

Affiliations & memberships

International Coalition of Sites of Conscience 2017

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of paid participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth, Adolescents, Young adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Field trip participants include students grades 4 and up as well as youth and young adults from residential facilities and senior citizen groups.

Total number of paid admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Adults, People of African descent

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of free participants in conferences

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People of African descent, Multiracial people, People of European descent

Related Program

Underground Railroad Public History Conference

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Multiracial people, People of African descent, People of European descent

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the Corona Virus, our numbers were lowered in 2020

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Presently one of the chief goals is the completion of the restoration of The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence. Exterior restoration has been completed, except for the front and rear entries and the addition of a lift. URHPCR is also looking to create an interpretive center in a nearby building. Two people are on staff right now but URHPCR needs to increase and sustain up to fiver staff positions. Additionally, URHPCR is aiming to increase and diversify its funding streams so as to expand operations and sustain the work of the organization.

URHPCR is implementing a fund development plan that increases major donations, capital funds, and endowment funds. Expanding grant support and memberships are additional strategies intended to help URHPCR achieve its goals.

UHRPCR has a knowledgeable, experienced staff and board and community volunteers who collaborate constructively to implement strategies to achieve URHPCR's goals.

Staff has expanded. Board members are planning two major fund raisers. A major gifts campaign is being undertaken. Friend raising programs that generate funds are being implemented. Open hours at The Stephen and Harriet Myers Residence have increased, which has increased visitation. Improved marketing strategies are being implemented.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    The population with whom we engage is internationally diverse through economic, age, racial, and ethnic backgrounds that are willing to listen to the stories of the Underground Railroad and how it applies to issues within our society today. For each age group, we bring something different to the table; for instance, for seniors, we do gardening. For teens, we have a program called the young abolitionist leadership Institute. Every program is designed to promote growth and be agents of change for an equitable and just society.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Conversation,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Expanded outreach to Black community residents to become board members.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Volunteers fill needs that interest them and their skillset; with their knowledge, we encourage volunteers to establish new projects that they believe will be successful for the organization. This organization is run by the community or the community; For instance, a volunteer, a gardener suggested initiating a gardening program for the Underground railroad. This volunteer believed that the communal use of the gardens would establish a strong foundation for the community it surrounds. Once established, the gardens did just that. Furthermore, several committees are composed of board and community members that offer their skills and expertise to plan and implement the strategic plan that drives the mission forward for years to come.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback,

Financials

Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Underground Railroad History Project of the Capital Region, Inc

Board of directors
as of 5/25/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Brittany Beyus

Planned Parenthood

Term: 2021 - 2021


Board co-chair

Mr. Ron Gardner

Schenectady City Government - Diversity Officer

Term: 2021 - 2021

Matt Kirk

Hartgen Archaeological Associates, Inc.

Brittany Beyus

Planned Parenthood

Yolanda Caldwell

Titus Enterprises

Sam Fein

County Legislator

David Hochfelder

SUNY Albany

Steven O'Connor

Upstate Independent Filmmakers Association

Darius Shahinfar

City of Albany

Brenda Twiggs

Retired Executive Librarian

Paul Stewart

Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region

Ron Gardner

City of Schenectady

Kai Earle Marion

C&S Companies

Yvonne Abunaw

Community Activist

Sara Anderson

University at Albany

Lisbeth Calandrino

Lisbeth Calandrino & Associates

Matt Millea

C&S Companies

Taknika Mickey

Twin County Recovery Services

Latisha Owens-Gonzalez

Albany Housing Authority

Ethel Walker

Walker Enterprises, Unlimited, LLC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/25/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/26/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.