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Kimberly Simmons

Guest Speaker

    Full Biography

    Kimberly Simmons has a background that includes for profit and nonprofit leadership posts. In 2010, Simmons established the Detroit River Project Org, which has been recognized for numerous national and international initiatives including the core project of designation of the Historic Detroit River as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ms. Simmons’ program “Caroline Quarlls, A Family Legacy of Freedom” was awarded Ntl Partner status in 2005, with the National Park Service UGRR Network to Freedom  She's been profiled in the media locally, nationally, and lectured notably:

    • Panelist and facilitator,  “Detroit’s Abolitionist Moment: 160 Years of Fighting for Justice,” for the University of Detroit Mercy School of  Law on March 12, 2019 
    • Created and Facilitated the Detroit Public Schools Community District Teachers Teaching History Institute in August 2017 
    • Guest Lecturer at the University of Alabama- Tuscaloosa in March 2016 
    • Member of contingent to the United Nations in March 2015 for annual celebration of the International Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the International Slave Trade and unveiling of the monument, “The Ark of Return”
    • *Guest lecturer at Purdue University’s Black Cultural Center in November 2012 during the Center’s immersion program, “Black Detroit - The History,The Music,the Movement that Changed America
    • Panelist / Moderator for commemorative CSPAN presentation entitled, “Underground Railroad Descendants” in Feb 2012

    Simmons is a former governor appointee of the Michigan Freedom Trail Commission, a consultant to the PBS Documentary, “Many Rivers to Cross” and Author in several books:  A Fluid Frontier: Slavery, Resistance, and the UGGR in the Detroit River Borderland - WSU Press 2016, “To the River, Thom Creek Press 2019, and Ride, Cycle the World, Penguin Random House 2021 and was a production consultant to the PBS Documentary mini-series, “Many Rivers to Cross”. She  was featured in the ARTE-TV(European PBS) documentary, "American Rivers –Detroit River" that debuted in November 2016 in Berlin.  

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