Prior to playing the annual rivalry men’s basketball game in its new venue downtown, the University of Cincinnati and Xavier are teaming up for UC-XU Day to raise awareness about the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on Saturday, Nov. 10. In response to last year’s game, a portion of the proceeds from this year’s Skyline Chili Crosstown Classic is being donated to the Freedom Center by both universities.
The game, formerly called the Shootout but renamed the Classic after the events of last year, takes place on Wednesday, Dec. 19, at U.S. Bank Arena and brings the Xavier Musketeers and UC Bearcats to the basketball court for the 66th consecutive year.
UC-XU Day at the Freedom Center runs from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and community supporters are encouraged to visit the Freedom Center for this special event. UC and XU students with a valid student ID will be admitted free. Faculty, staff, alumni and members of the community sporting UC or XU spiritwear will be admitted for $8.
Xavier and UC will have mascots attending at 11:00 a.m. and student-athletes will be signing autographs. Door prizes will be raffled off at 1:50 p.m. for those who complete a “scavenger-hunt” questionnaire. The universities are planning to have displays from 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. on their community engagement activities as well as the Freedom Center’s volunteer opportunities for students.
Also showing that day will be a special Freedom Center program called “In the Trenches,” featuring Anne Lewis’ film “Anne Braden: Southern Patriot,” followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. The program is included in the admission fee and will be held in the Harriet Tubman Theater from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
The documentary recounts the life of Anne Braden, an organizer, mentor and teacher who was hailed by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in his 1963 letter from Birmingham Jail. Braden was a white southerner who rejected her segregationist upbringing. The film explores the dangers of racism and political repression and the power of a woman’s life in commitment to social justice. The program is offered as a part of the current special exhibit at the Freedom Center, “Women Hold Up Half the Sky,” which continues through March 31, 2013.
“UC-XU Day at the Freedom Center will be a great celebration of community by these two major academic institutions in Cincinnati,” said Kim Robinson, executive director of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. “The mission of the Freedom Center is to share the stories of courage, cooperation and perseverance from the days of the Underground Railroad to modern times. Sharing these stories with the men and women of UC and XU is an important opportunity to celebrate community pride and mutual respect. These are values that are core to both universities, the Freedom Center and to our Cincinnati region.”
“We are honored to partner with the Freedom Center on this year’s game,” said Xavier President Michael Graham, S.J. “The Freedom Center’s mission is compatible with our goals as an institution of higher learning as well as our goals on the basketball court.”
“The University of Cincinnati and Xavier University have a long history of collaboration, and this is just the latest example,” said UC Interim President Santa J. Ono. “The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is a tremendous asset for our nation and our community, and this collaboration provides a remarkable learning opportunity for our students.”