Organizing Kit

Please see the resources, guides and suggestions below. If you have any questions or additional suggestions, please contact us at douglassdayorg@gmail.com. For all Douglass Day events, we ask you to agree to our principles.

Table of Contents

Schedules

(All times Eastern Standard)

February 7 – Live Preview
12-1 pm (EST)
Preview of Douglass Day and tutorials on the Zooniverse platform.

February 14 – Main event
12-12:30 pm (EST)
Live broadcast on YouTube (greetings, singing, speakers about Douglass, Cooper & more).
(Detailed program will be posted in early February.)

After the live broadcast ends at 12:30 pm, we’ll let local event hosts determine their schedules for the rest of the day. We have suggested schedules on the transcribe page and the reading group page.

Hints about the schedule
We provide this schedule as a set of suggestions based on past Douglass Days. We like to break up long blocks of transcribing time, so be sure to schedule breaks for birthday cake, snacks, time for reflections and discussions. We find people especially enjoy breaks to share something aloud with the rest of the group or by posting to social media using #DouglassDay.
Need to run your event at another time?
No problem! Most groups will join simultaneously on February 14th, but all of the materials will remain online and available afterwards. You are welcome to organize groups at any time — even long after Feb 14. Let us know when you sign up, and we’ll try to make sure our social media team is online during your event too.

Plan your local event

December – January

  1. Reserve a room
  2. Choose your activities below. 
  3. Use our:
    1. Outreach Guide
    2. Flyer template
    3. Press release template
  4. Order Douglass Day swag (coming soon). 
  5. Make some noise before February 14th!

Early February

  1. Order a birthday cake for Frederick Douglass (bonus points for Black-owned bakeries!)
  2. Arrange any food, snacks, plates, utensils, etc. 
  3. Post notice on social media & send local e-mail invitations.

Types of Activities

Transcribe

During these events, we all join a crowdsourcing project to transcribe digitized records from the past on a website called Zooniverse. Our main activity will be transcribing the words in all sorts of documents (letters, diaries, certificates, postcards, and more). In 2020, we will focus on the papers of Anna Julia Cooper. We provide all the tutorials you’ll need. No experience is needed. The Zooniverse transcribing website is beginner friendly!

Reading Groups

We have prepared a guide for people who would like to host a reading & discussion group. All you need is enough print copies of the readings for everyone in your group. No advance preparation is needed. The writings by Cooper for this year are abridged to a manageable length.

New: Bring Douglass Day into K-12 classrooms

We think Douglass Day is a great opportunity to bring new voices into the classroom for Black History Month. Your students can help transcribe. We’ll also have lesson plans, reading guides, writing prompts, and more. Our resources will be ready in early January. For updates & alerts, don’t forget to register for updates.

Suggestions

Before

Making noise about Douglass Day in your area might mean posting lots on social media, contacting local/student journalists, or even going to community meetings, churches and more. 

Share Douglass Day with local print, radio & TV outlets: We are delighted to provide a press release template and media advisory/backgrounder (coming soon). If your school or organization has a communications office, contact them to share your event. Communications staff can help you plan for outreach on social media, crafting your press release, and much more. Contact them early. Often, communications folks have contacts in local media who might love to cover your event. And perhaps your organization might like to feature Douglass Day on their social media accounts, newsletters, or student papers. 

Order official Douglass Day swag: We are currently making arrangements with a vendor for stickers & postcards. We will update you when these are ready to order.

During

Social media: Share what you find or learn on Douglass Day on Twitter & Instagram using #DouglassDay and #AnnaJuliaCooper. We encourage everyone to ask questions, share cool phrases/snippets, or make comments on social media. Folks from the Colored Conventions Project will be available to chat on Twitter and Instagram. Our social media team will share any cool finds on the video live stream. We want to hear everyone’s voices! We also love to see great photos of Black history & preservation in action.

Lyrics for “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (abridged) are available on this page.

Create a wall of post-it notes: we suggest reserving a wall in the event room for people to share ideas, thoughts, feelings, and anything interesting that comes out of the transcribing or reading activities. Leave out a handful of pens and stacks of post-it notes by the wall. It can be helpful to have a small banner with a title, question, or prompt. Not sure what to put? Try exploring the discussion questions in our guide for reading groups.

After

Please keep a tally of participation: Please keep a tally of the number of people who participate in your group. After Feb 14, we will write to ask for your feedback. Any info you can provide will help us apply for more resources to support future Douglass Days, so our big thanks in advance.

Douglass Day 2021 + beyond! Our annual celebration of Frederick Douglass’s birthday and Black History Month will continue in 2021 and beyond. We will have info about next year’s Douglass Day in Spring/Summer 2020.