Juneteenth: Erecting New Monuments

Michelle Browder

The Library Company of Philadelphia

Friday, June 17, 2022 6:00 pm EDT

Online Event

Juneteenth: Erecting New Monuments 
UPDATE: All of our in-person tickets are sold out.
This year’s Juneteenth Freedom Program will feature public historian and artist Michelle Browder, the visionary behind the new The Mothers Of Gynecology Monument in Montgomery Alabama which opened in February of 2022. The Mothers of Gynecology immortalizes three of the women — known as Anarcha, Lucy and Betsey — who went under J. Marion Sims’s knife, a doctor known as “father of modern gynecology” who performed experimental surgeries on enslaved women in antebellum era Alabama. Browder, who has been leading local award-winning history tours (known as "More Than Tours") for the past ten years, will present on her decades long practice of intervening in dominant historical narratives and building alternative institutions.
Opening day for the The Mothers of Gynecology Hope, Healing and Restoration at the Mote Up Campus is May 8, 2022.
For 30 years, Michelle has been an advocate and activist for the at-risk and marginalized. Her heart is especially tender toward disenfranchised youth. She noticed that young people needed someone to listen, encourage, and provide a safe space for them. She created a place that immersed students in history, "real talk," spoken word and visual art. This experience birthed an arts-centered diversion program that was used by juvenile detention centers in Alabama and Georgia. In the spring of 2012, Michelle and a group of chaperones took 56 students to Washington, DC to see Attorney Bryan Stevenson argue a case before the United States Supreme Court. The case focused on the constitutionality of youth being sentenced to death in prison. This encounter changed both the students’ and Michelle’s lives exponentially and birthed the I Am More Than Youth Empowerment Initiative. This initiative expanded into a non-profit that hosted community conversations, arts-centered programs for schools and youth-led conferences. Michelle owns and operates More Than Tours, a social enterprise that provides educational and interactive tours to students and tourists exposing the rich and sometimes haunting history of Montgomery, Alabama. More Than Tours has bridged the racial divide by reaching nearly 10,000 students and tourists.
Sponsored by the Program in African-American History
For the safety of all guests and staff, proof of COVID-19 vaccination and masking are required of all guests. Upon entering the building, please provide proof of vaccination. Proof will be accepted in the form of your original vaccination card, a photo of it on your phone, or a photocopy of the original. All guests are required to remain properly masked throughout their time at the Library Company.
We are located on Locust Street, between Broad Street and 13th Street in Center City Philadelphia, a few blocks from City Hall and one block east of the Academy of Music. There are several parking lots nearby. The Library Company is wheel chair accessible. For virtual events, we provide closed captioning.