Ford Sponsors 'Sojouner Truth' Memorial Fund, First to Honor African American Woman in U.S. Capitol

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Organized by the National Congress of Black Women (NCBW), the Sojourner Truth Memorial Fund was created to acknowledge the life and legacy of Sojourner Truth. For more than 10 years, NCBW worked tirelessly for a Sojourner Truth bust to be included in the portrait statue in the U.S. Capitol alongside suffragists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

NCBW is pleased to collaborate with Ford Motor Company to make this day happen in history

Ford Motor Company Fund, announced yesterday that the company is a lead sponsor of the Sojourner Truth Memorial Fund, which is establishing the first memorial in the U.S. Capitol honoring an African American woman.

The memorial's bust was unveiled Tuesday at a 10 a.m. ceremony at the U.S. Capitol with more than 600 guests. Supporters of the bill to install the memorial included Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.

"Ford is proud to be a major sponsor of the Sojourner Truth Memorial Fund and to be participating in the unveiling of its memorial," said Ziad Ojakli, group vice president of Government and Community Relations, Ford Motor Company. "Despite her hardships, Sojourner Truth paved the way for equality for all women, which is why she is being honored in the U.S. Capitol alongside others who have been recognized for their work in the women's suffrage movement."

Organized by the National Congress of Black Women (NCBW), the Sojourner Truth Memorial Fund was created to acknowledge the life and legacy of Sojourner Truth. For more than 10 years, NCBW worked tirelessly for a Sojourner Truth bust to be included in the portrait statue in the U.S. Capitol alongside suffragists Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

Ford's involvement in this project was inspired by the Freedom's Sisters exhibition that is currently on tour in more than nine U.S. cities. The exhibition, funded by Ford Motor Company Fund, the community relations arm of Ford Motor Company, is honoring the legacy of more than 20 African American women including the late Dr. C. Delores Tucker, who was one of the leaders to set the Sojourner Truth campaign in motion and a president of NCBW.

The three-year Freedom's Sisters tour began in the Cincinnati Museum in March 2008 and continues to Detroit, Mich. on April 25 after it leaves Memphis, Tenn.

"In recognition of a legacy rich in the civil right struggle, Ford will continue to recognize those who shaped much of the spirit and substance of civil rights in America," said Pamela Alexander, director of Community Development and Fund Operations, Ford Motor Company Fund. "Ford Motor Company congratulates NCBW for keeping the legacy of Dr. C. Delores Tucker alive by carrying out an important mission to have Sojourner Truth's statue to be placed in the Capitol. We applaud your tireless effort to have Sojourner Truth's story to be recognize by all Americans."

"NCBW is pleased to collaborate with Ford Motor Company to make this day happen in history," said Dr. E. Faye Williams, national chairwoman, NCBW. "The movement to bring Truth's likeness to the U.S. Capitol began more than 10 years ago, led by C. Delores Tucker, several black female politicians and NCBW. We are grateful to finally see Sojourner Truth get the recognition she truly deserves."

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services
Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services is committed to creating opportunities that promote corporate citizenship, philanthropy, volunteerism and cultural diversity for those who live in the communities where Ford operates. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2009 and made possible by funding from Ford Motor Company, Ford Motor Company Fund supports initiatives and institutions that foster innovative education, auto-related safety, and American heritage and legacy. National programs include Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies, which provides high school students with academically rigorous 21st century learning experiences, and Driving Skills for Life, a teen-focused auto safety initiative. The Ford Volunteer Corps, established in 2005, continues Ford's legacy of caring worldwide. Through the Volunteer Corps, Ford employees and retirees participate in a wide range of volunteer projects in their communities. For more information on programs made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, visit http://www.community.ford.com.

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Xina Eiland