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|Alex Haley Farm • Children's Defense Fund (CDF)||Share:|
Alex Haley Farm • Children's Defense Fund (CDF)
The Children's Defense Fund purchased the former Alex Haley Farm intending to create an ideal setting for spiritual renewal, leadership training, and character development. They host organizations that affirm they will play a role in the CDF mission, and that agree to keep CDF Haley Farm as a smoke-free, drug and alcohol-free, violence-free, hate-free, loving environment in doors and outdoors. The facility connects young leaders and activists with the glorious heritage of the struggle for freedom, and is where policy makers and community builders come to connect, recharge their spiritual and physical batteries, and brainstorm strategies.
Haley Farm • Children's Defense Fund • Programs
The late Alex Haley, famous author of Roots: The Saga of An American Family, made millions of people aware of a great heritage that had been denied them by the history books and the corrosive legacy of slavery. Today, the farm where he once lived is connecting young leaders and activists of all ages and races and faiths with the glorious heritage of the struggle for freedom they carry on—because the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) and Black Community Crusade for Children (BCCC) are transforming it into a living, breathing training ground for the next generation of leadership, advocacy and service for children and families.
Haley Farm houses several important programs for CDF, including Freedom Schools and the Proctor Institute. The Freedom Schools are "inspired by the Civil Rights Movement's Freedom Summer of 1964 when community leaders organized Black Americans to register to vote" (Haley Farm "Freedom"). The program has trained over 6,000 high school and college-age servant-leaders (people who serve first and then lead in order to increase service to institutions and individuals). These young leaders, in turn, teach "children ages 5 to 18 for six to eight weeks, integrating reading, conflict resolution, and social action in activity-based curricula" (Ibid.). The Proctor Institute was "established in 1995 with the goal of raising up men and women for the task of leadership within each faith tradition" and allows participants the opportunity to "explore how faith relates to children and advocacy; hear inspiring preaching; gain solid, up-to-date information on children's needs; and acquire new skills and strategies to help children and strengthen families" (Haley Farm "Proctor").
The Langston Hughes Library • Haley Farm • Clinton, Tennessee
In addition, the library includes the John Hope Franklin–Maya Angelou reading room, a Mrs. Rosa Parks sitting area, and a meeting room which can accommodate 75 individuals. Young people and all who come to Haley Farm for training and fellowship and able to conduct research; read about and meditate on great heroes, heroines, writers, and thinkers; and be exposed to the best quality children's literature by authors and illustrators of African descent and on Black experiences.
Riggio-Lynch Interfaith Chapel • Haley Farm • Clinton, Tennessee
This concrete block building, which is in such sharp contrast to the cypress exterior of the ark-like main building, was designed to resemble the type of building found in many shipyards where builders' equipment and supplies are kept. Award-winning Vietnam Veterans Memorial designer Maya Lin, who also designed the Langston Hughes Library at Haley Farm, designed the Riggio-Lynch Chapel as well.
The Haley Farm Lodge • Haley Farm • Clinton, Tennessee
Each house does have an iron, ironing board, refrigerator, and microwave, but participants will have to share these items. Towels, linens, and toiletry items are provided along with extra pillows and blankets. The housekeeping staff will replenish these items as needed. There are no televisions on the farm. They do however have wireless internet access as well as the business center for any computer needs. Computers are also available in the Langston Hughes Library on site. To reserve a room, please call (865) 457-6466. Availability will be on a first come, first serve basis. CDF Haley Farm pricing: Single room ($65) • Double occupancy ($40/person).
Haley Farmhouse • Haley Farm • Clinton, Tennessee
For Haley, one of life's great pleasures is to let city visitors savor the moment when "they wake up, and the mist is over the farm, ducks are swimming around, the creek is running, and the fish are jumping." John Rice Irwin, a Tennessee historian and museum curator, recalls that when Haley decided to build a manmade lake right before the rainy season, neighboring farmers trooped over to help. Using their pickup-truck headlights for illumination, they worked until three in the morning. All night long, Haley raced from the farmhouse to the lake, bringing his neighbors snacks and steaming cups of coffee and stated, "People wouldn't be this kind in Los Angeles."
The Bethune-Height House • Haley Farm • Clinton, Tennessee
Here is the Introduction that Alex Haley wrote for this book: "Nowadays, if you are of school age, going to school is the most ordinary thing in the world. But it wasn't always so. For many Americans in the early 1900s, school was at best a dream. If you were poor, female, and black, it was something else as well. It was impossible. But some people dreamed anyway. Mary McLeod Bethune, who was poor, female and black, was one who followed her dream. And she shared it with others. This is her story. Dreamers like Mrs. Bethune gives us more than just what they have accomplished. They give us their example. By their example they teach us that dreaming is the first step in doing the impossible. So if you have a dream, live it. Make the impossible happen." ~ Alex Haley.
The Duck House • Haley Farm • Clinton, Tennessee
David Stephens spent weeks at a time in the Duck House co-writing Queen: The Story of An American Family where he finished the novel after Haley's passing. While Stevens benefited from the many boxes of research notes and a 700-page outline of the story left behind by Haley, he later mentioned that his writing was guided mainly by their many long conversations. A miniseries adaptation of that novel, called Alex Haley's Queen, was based on the life of Haley's grandparents and originally aired on CBS on February 14, 1993.
Haley Farm • Children's Defense Fund • Testimonials
"In the ark design, Maya Lin has created a new metaphor for the Haley Farm Freedom School and a lasting symbol of our covenant to complete the unfinished work of the Civil Rights Movement. The Chapel is a place of safety and shelter for the thousands of young people who come to Haley Farm each year to learn, worship, and train to become the next generation of advocates for children and families." - Len Riggio, Barnes & Noble Chairman.
"The Schott Foundation would also like to thank Marian Wright Edelman and the Children's Defense Fund for their generosity in allowing the conference to be held at its Alex Haley Farm—a truly beautiful oasis where people gathered together to reflect, dialogue, pray, be nurtured and nourished, and connect with each other to better understand and create viable solutions to the difficult issues impacting the health, education and well-being of our Black boys." - The Schott Foundation for Public Education, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"Set in the rolling hills of Tennessee, the farm, though close to a major city (Knoxville) and sitting just on the outskirts of a town, gives visitors the feeling that they have stumbled into a magical, wooded place. The Children's Defense Fund now uses this space for trainings, conferences, and other events that relate to child advocacy. I felt welcomed when I came, embraced throughout the weekend and inspired when I left. It's clear to me now how Marian Wright Edelman has accomplished all that she has over the past several decades; she's an amazingly charismatic speaker and a woman who lives her dream. After hearing her speak once, I am thoroughly committed to helping her achieve her goal to 'leave no child behind.'" - Michelle H. Martin, Assistant Professor, English.
How To Get To The Haley Farm
Haley Farm is 30 miles north of Knoxville off of I-75. From I-40 East in Knoxville, travel approximately 14.5 miles north on Interstate 75 to Exit 122. Take Exit 122 (Clinton/Norris). Proceed to stop sign and turn left onto Highway 61. Continue straight through traffic light and turn left onto Frank L. Diggs Drive (just past People's National Bank next to Shell Gas Station). Go to the first intersection and turn right onto Sinking Springs Road. Proceed on this road 1/10 of a mile, turn left at the second driveway, and follow gravel driveway to gate entrance.
Haley Farm • Children's Defense Fund
1000 Alex Haley Lane Clinton, TN 37716
Phone: (865) 457-6466 Fax: (865) 457-6464
Please Also Visit The Alex Haley Museum In Henning, TN • Alex Haley Memorial In Annapolis, MD • Haley Heritage Square In Knoxville, TN