Organizing Kit 2023

Planning Your Event

Suggested Steps

  1. Reserve a room
  2. Create your local flyer using our template
  3. Order stickers or create your own swag
  4. Engage your local communities & partners
  5. Contact your local media outlets
  6. Order a cake or start practicing for the Bake Off
  7. Attend the preview event on Feb. 7

Suggested Materials

  1. Room with a projector and speakers to watch the livestream
  2. Wifi/Internet connections
  3. Computers (1 machine per 1-3 people)


We publish a series of newsletters each year to share new resources, updates, and more. When you register, you will be automatically signed up to receive the newsletter. You can also browse this year’s issues.

Bake Off

We are delighted to announce our third annual cake contest. Make your best cakes or desserts to celebrate Douglass and Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Post photos of your creations to Twitter or Instagram using #DouglassDay or #GreatDouglassDayBakeoff to enter our contest for special Douglass Day prizes!

Feb 7 – Sneak Preview Schedule

12-1pm (EST) on our YouTube channel + Zoom room

Live broadcast – 12:00 to 1:00pm

  • Welcome & introductions
  • Preview of the program
  • Tutorials on the Zooniverse crowdsourcing platforms
  • Q&A

(Zoom information will be shared by email on 2/7)

Outreach & Organizing

Flyers & Swag

Outreach Guide

This guide provides an extensive set of suggestions for building partnerships with Black community and campus groups for Douglass Day. The guide suggests starting by looking for groups that may already exist on your campus and expanding your outreach beyond campus.

Virtual Event Guide

This guide compiles a list of tips and best practices for hosting a fun virtual or hybrid event on Douglass Day. It includes some past lessons learned about how we can build community in virtual spaces.

Program for 2023

About Mary Ann Shadd Cary

This page has a short biography, a timeline, suggested readings, and a list of videos from recent events commemorating the bicentennial.

Press Release & Media Advisory

Transcription Tutorials

  • Coming in early February!

Teaching Resources

Feb 14 – Schedule

12-3pm (EST) on our YouTube channel.

Live broadcast – 12:00 to 12:30pm

  • Welcome & introductions
  • Sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (lyrics)
  • Overview for the Douglass Day program
  • Speakers on Douglass & Shadd

Activity – 12:30 to 1:00pm

  • Time for transcribing, readings, discussions, etc.
  • During this time, we’ll leave the live stream running, but will go silent.
  • Try our Spotify playlist!

Live broadcast – 1:00 to 1:30pm

  • Sing “Happy birthday” (both versions)
  • Additional speakers on the life & legacies of Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Activity – 1:30 to 2:30pm

  • Time for transcribing, readings, discussions, etc.
  • During this time, we’ll leave the live stream running, but will go silent.
  • Try our Spotify playlist!

Live broadcast – 2:30 to 3:00pm

  • Highlights from social media
  • Bake Off Prizes
  • Closing Reflections

Questions or feedback?

Organizing Great Transcribe-a-thons

Tips & Strategies

Before: Promote Your Event

Use our Community Outreach Guide

Our handy outreach guide provides an extensive set of practical suggestions for building partnerships with Black community and campus groups for Douglass Day. Douglass Day is a great time to reach out in new directions. Who doesn’t like an invitation to a birthday party? Start local, then expand outwards.

Invite people to your event

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. 

Alert the local media

Share Douglass Day with local print, radio, or TV outlets. We are delighted to provide a press release template and media advisory/backgrounder. See this page for our press release & media materials

Work with your local press office

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 Douglass Day swag

We are currently making arrangements with a vendor for stickers & postcards. We will update you when these are ready to order.

Social media | #DouglassDay

Share what you find or learn on Douglass Day on Twitter & Instagram using #DouglassDay. We encourage everyone to ask questions, share cool phrases/snippets, or make comments on social media. 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” 

The abridged lyrics are available on this page.

Create a wall of post-it notes:

If you have an in-person room, we suggest creating a “comment board” by placing a stack of post-it notes and some markers in the corner of the room. Ask people at your event to share ideas, feelings, or anything that arises during our day of transcribing. When the wall is full of comments and notes, please snap a photo and share it with us on social media!

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 2024 + beyond! 

Our annual celebration of Frederick Douglass’s birthday and Black History Month will continue in 2024 and beyond. We will have info about next year’s Douglass Day in Spring/Summer 2023.

Voter Registration

We encourage everyone to register to vote. After that, help your students, neighbors, family members, and colleagues get signed up to vote. (And don’t forget to verify your registration!)

Register here:

Black-owned Bakeries

If you plan to order a cake for Douglass Day, we encourage you to order from a Black-owned bakery. There are many fabulous bakeries around the US along with a number of business that can send a cake or other desserts by mail. We are not affiliated with any of these businesses and welcome any suggestions or feedback.