Harriet Tubman Advisory Council


The Harriet Tubman School opened in 1949 as the Howard County’s only all-black high school until it was closed through desegregation in 1965 and was used by the Howard County Public School System for more than 50 years.

On October 16, 2015, a Memorandum of Understanding was executed with the Howard County Public School System to transfer ownership of the Harriet Tubman School building and surrounding property (the “Harriet Tubman School site”) to Howard County to be preserved as a historic, educational and cultural center.

On September 5, 2017, the County Council passed Council Resolution No. 110-2017 that established a School Surplus Use Committee to advance the transfer of the Harriet Tubman School site to County ownership.

On December 5, 2017, the County Council was informed that the Harriet Tubman School site would be retained for County Government use, recognizing its importance to the community.

The ownership of the Harriet Tubman School site was transferred from the Howard County Public School System to Howard County on April 4, 2018.

The Harriet Tubman School Operations and Use Advisory Council was created by County Executive Ball’s Executive Order on September 21, 2019.  Its mission is to:

  1. Identify priorities for how to best use the historic Harriet Tubman School site as an educational and cultural center.
  2. Recommend opportunities to educate the community about the rich history of the students who attended the Harriet Tubman School.
  3. Advise the County Executive on an organizational structure that will serve to permanently coordinate and sustain the vision for the Harriet Tubman School as an educational and
  4. cultural center. This shall include developing operations for a multi-use facility including, but not limited to, sponsorships, management required personnel, security, revenue sources and audio-visual needs.
  5. Explore funding to allow for the advancement of recommendations made by the Advisory Council.
  6. Serve as a liaison to the community and share information with community groups and networks.
  7. Share other findings and/or recommendations that the Advisory Council deems appropriate.
  8. Explore a Business Plan Development which shall include:
  • The development of both Vision and Mission statements, operational overview, proposed management structure, priority of usage, and Program/Service opportunities; and
  • The possible development of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Harriet Tubman Foundation, the development of marketing and logos, and the determination of the names of rooms.

The members meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 6pm.

The Council consists of the following members:

Bessie Bordenave - Chair
Herman Charity
Fred Dorsey
Shawn Gladden
Caleb Gould
Melvin Kelly
James LeMon
Howard Lyles
Kristina McKirahan
Rev Doug Sands
Frank Turner

Staff Advisors:

Michael Kaminetz, Department of Public Works
Raul Delerme, Department of Recreation & Parks
Matt Madera, Department of Recreation & Parks
Nicola Morgal, Department of Recreation & Parks
Kori Jones, Department of Recreation & Parks
Jennifer Jones, Office of the County Executive
Lauren Myatt, Consultant



January 14, 2021
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December 10, 2020
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November 12, 2020
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October 8, 2020
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September 10, 2020
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July 9, 2020
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June 11, 2020
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May 14, 2020
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March 12, 2020
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February 13, 2020
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January 9, 2020
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December 12, 2019
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November 14, 2019
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October 10, 2019
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September 19, 2019
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August 8, 2019
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July 11, 2019
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June 13, 2019
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April 11, 2019
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March 14, 2019
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February 14, 2019
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December 13, 2018
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November 8, 2018
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October 11, 2018
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September 13, 2018
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August 9, 2018
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July 12, 2018
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June 14, 2018
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