Organizing Kit 2023

Steps for planning your event

  1. Begin outreach early (see our outreach guide)
  2. Reserve a room
  3. Create your local flyer using our template
  4. Order stickers or create your own swag
  5. Alert the media with our press release
  6. Order a cake or start practicing for the Bake Off
  7. Attend the preview event
  8. Learn about the Colored Conventions


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


Please sign up for the event and we will begin sharing our fairly regular newsletter. The newsletter will have resources on organizing your event, tutorials for transcribing, lesson plans for teaching, and a whole lot more.


This year we will have a new project on the papers of Mary Ann Shadd Cary on the Zooniverse platform. Stay tuned!

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!

Flyers, Stickers, and Graphics

We will have a variety of flyers, stickers, and graphics to share on our page for Flyers & Graphics for Douglass Day 2023. Don’t miss our new stickers featuring this year’s theme!

Virtual Event Guide

We know that many groups are still deciding whether to gather in person or in virtual spaces. We welcome one and all! Please see our guide for virtual events to see some proven strategies and additional resources.

Learn about Mary Ann Shadd Cary

Press Release Template

We encourage everyone celebrating Douglass Day to reach out to their local TV, print, and radio media outlets. Sharing info about this event can be a great way of expanding your group and opening the doors to local community members. Along with traditional media, it can be useful to think about contacting any local student newspapers, community journals, or local bloggers.

Our guide contains a template press release, media advisory, and a backgrounder. These documents will be familiar to journalists and will make it easier for them to cover your group’s gathering.

Schedule (tentative)

Feb 7 – Preview Event

12-1pm (EST) on our YouTube channel. 

We will offer a preview of the full program and tutorials on the Zooniverse platform. 

Feb 14 – Main event

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

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

Questions or feedback?

Promoting Your Event


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.

Hosting Your Event

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. 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” 

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 2023 + beyond! 

Our annual celebration of Frederick Douglass’s birthday and Black History Month will continue in 2023 and beyond. We will have info about next year’s Douglass Day in Spring/Summer 2022.

Register to Vote

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.

Questions or feedback?