Connecticut Freedom Trail Planning Committee
Alfred L. Marder, New Haven
Amistad Committee, Inc.
Alfred Marder has been the Chairman of the Connecticut Freedom Trail Planning Committee since its establishment in 1997. Mr. Marder is the President of the Amistad Committee, Inc., which, along with the Commission on Culture & Tourism, is responsible for the coordination of the Connecticut Freedom Trail. In addition to acting as liaison between the Amistad Committee and the CCT, Mr. Marder also advocates for new Connecticut Freedom Trail sites in Greater New Haven and coordinates Connecticut Freedom Trail events during September, Connecticut Freedom Trail Month.
Gilbert L. Davis, Bridgeport
African American Historical Association of Fairfield County (AAHA)
Gilbert L. Davis is President of the African American Historical Association of Fairfield County (AAHA) which was founded in 2005 with the mission of uncovering Fairfield County’s African American history. Mr. Davis has represented Fairfield County and Bridgeport on the Connecticut Freedom Trail Planning Committee since 2005, helping to identify sites and increase representation of Fairfield County and Bridgeport sites on the Connecticut Freedom Trail. Mr. Davis also coordinates Freedom Trail Month events for the Bridgeport area.
Joanne Lawson, Farmington
Farmington Historical Society
Joanne Lawson is the Vice President of the Farmington Historical Society. Farmington is the site of many Amistad-related sites on the Connecticut Freedom Trail and also has many sites associated with the Underground Railroad. Ms. Lawson provides insight into the designation of new Underground Railroad sites to the Trail and connects Farmington to the greater story of the Connecticut Freedom Trail.
Yvonne McGregor, Hartford
Faith Congregational Church
Yvonne McGregor is a representative and historian for Faith Congregational Church, which was founded in 1819 and has been an integral part of Hartford’s black community throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Ms. McGregor is also an active community representative of the John E. Rogers African American Cultural Center and the Hartford African American Heritage Trail Tour Project.
Alfred Narcisse, Windsor
Windsor Freedom Trail Committee
Alfred Narcisse has been involved with the Connecticut Freedom Trail Planning Committee since it was established in 1997. As Chairman of the Windsor Freedom Trail Committee, Mr. Narcisse solicited the donation by Pratt & Whitney of four frames for the Freedom Trail Quilts in the Connecticut State Library. Windsor contributed six quilt blocks to the Freedom Trail Quilts. In 2008, Mr. Narcisse was the recipient of the Distinguished Advocates Award for his continued commitment to promoting the Connecticut Freedom Trail in Windsor.
Kim A. Silva, Farmington
Farmington Historical Society
Kim A. Silva is a Deaf Historian and researcher of Amistad history since 1998 and regarded the late Peg Yung as her mentor since 2000. Ms. Silva is Coordinator of the Amistad Tours for the Farmington Historical Society. She is an author of A Sign of Freedom (unpublished) and artist who contributed an illustration for the Amistad quilt created by the FHS for the Freedom Schooner, Amistad. She presented at Deaf History International in 2000 and shared the oral history from Curator Emeritus, David Halberg about the many links between the founders of the American School for the Deaf and their ties to the Amistad Africans. As a former teacher at the American School for the Deaf, she worked with her students to create the Amistad history portion of the website Deaf Is… She will present again at Deaf History International in July 2012.
Karl P. Stofko, D.D.S., East Haddam
First Church Cemetery Association, Inc.
Karl Stofko manages the First Church Cemetery in East Haddam, which is the location of the Venture Smith Gravesite, a Connecticut Freedom Trail site. He is also the President of the First Church Cemetery Association, Inc. and the Municipal Historian for East Haddam. Each year Dr. Stofko organizes Venture Smith Day, a September Freedom Trail Month event.
Gail Williams, Plainville
Plainville Historical Society
Gail Williams has been involved with the Connecticut Freedom Trail since 1997 and has served on the Planning Committee since 2000. Ms. Williams is the Historian for Plainville’s African American History and the Redeemer’s A.M.E. Zion Church. As a representative for Plainville, she created one of the quilt blocks for the Freedom Trail Quilts in the Connecticut State Library and has hosted Freedom Trail Month events that tell the history of Plainville’s African Americans.