CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: #DouglassWeek - Creative Commemorations of Frederick Douglass and related topics

Dr Caroline Schroeter's picture
February 8, 2021 to February 14, 2021
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, American History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Race / Ethnic Studies

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: #DouglassWeek - Creative Commemorations of Frederick Douglass and related topics

Registration Deadline: 7th of January, 2021
Event Series: 8th - 14th of February, 2021

#DouglassWeek is an all-island, collaborative event series that celebrates the 175th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’s arrival in Ireland. Between 1845-1846, Douglass lectured to packed audiences, met with Daniel O’Connell and reflected upon the devastating effects of the famine then beginning to sweep the nation.

We cordially invite you to participate in #DouglassWeek and are looking forward to your academic, artistic and other creative responses, ideas and thoughts regarding commemorative projects or events. Join us in celebrating Frederick Douglass and the 175th anniversary of his transformative journey to Ireland. How would YOU like to remember Frederick Douglass and everything he stands for?

#DouglassWeek aims to connect people who share an interest and passion for Frederick Douglass, but also offers a platform for people to discuss contemporary issues related to his life and legacy: racism and racial justice, human and civil rights activism, social activism, refugee crises, American-Irish relations, creative forms of commemoration, and other related topics that remain relevant in the 21st century.

Individuals as well as schools, universities, clubs, libraries and any other interested community members and groups are cordially invited to participate in #DouglassWeek in order to showcase the continued importance and relevance of Frederick Douglass and everything he stands for. You can register an event here.

Participants could, for example, organize one of the following projects or suggest their own ideas – they can be as small or big as you choose:

  • Host an educational project around Douglass and themes related to his life and legacy: abolitionism; Black history; global struggles for freedom; historical links between Ireland and the US, racial justice, anti-human trafficking efforts, modern day slavery, human rights
  • Facilitate an open day in a venue where Douglass lectured
  • Initiate a (virtual) cultural exchange day between an Irish secondary school and an American highschool, dedicating a lesson to Frederick Douglass together
  • Give a talk about Frederick Douglass or any related topics
  • Submit an entry for the „International Douglass Poetry Competition“ (see here for detail)
  • Organize a reading, talk or conversation with a community member or prominent figure in your town
  • Facilitate/Perform a dance or music event responding to Douglass’s visit in 1845
  • Host a panel with educators and academic experts and/or creative thinkers
  • Virtual/in-person walking tours of your town, highlighting where Douglass spoke or showcasing other anti-racist, racial awareness projects in your community
  • Offer an art workshop or other creative event
  • Host a trivia or quiz night about Douglass or related topics
  • Design or install a commemorative plaque or statue in your city or county, dedicated to Douglass or other abolitionists who visited Ireland
  • Host a poetry reading, a poetry slam or a virtual concert featuring performances of songs and poem that were written to welcome Douglass in Ireland (email us for access to these works)
  • Arrange a book swap for the Douglass’s Narrative or other important books that reflect on challenges that, we all, as a society, should confront
  • Create a small (or big) pop-up exhibition about Douglass or related topics

You might be interested in organizing other outreach events and we are more than happy to assist you in developing your unique and exciting ideas and are looking forward to hearing from you!

Please register your idea with us by filling out the ‘Get Involved’ form.

Participants should note that we kindly ask you to document your event(s) personally or with the help of an affiliated institution, e.g. in the form of a video, photos and/or a brief summary.

For more information please visit our website or email us.

We are delighted that you are interested in #DouglassWeek and look forward to talking with you about your exciting plans!

The #DouglassWeek Team

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