Rochester-based Au Pairs Learn About Women’s Rights and Abolitionist History




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An au pair from overseas, looking after a family’s children, is new to Rochester—what would you want her to identify the region with? For au pairs taking a class at Rochester Institute of Technology, upstate New York is about women’s rights and abolition.

RIT’s English Language Center will offer the first of a two-weekend course for Rochester-based au pairs, Oct. 3-5. The course focuses on the historical significance of upstate New York and the women’s rights and abolitionist movements. Participants will take a walking tour of downtown Rochester, see a historical reenactment and visit the Susan B. Anthony House.

The au pairs, from Belgium, Iceland, South Africa, Brazil and Germany, have been assigned to read either Kindred by Octavia Butler or Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe before the weekend classes. After class at RIT each day, several activities are planned:

  • Friday, Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m., RIT George Eastman Building, Room 1300, speaker Ruth Napersack, Rochester city historian.
  • Saturday, Oct. 4, 2:30 p.m., walking tour of downtown Rochester, learn about Frederick Douglass and the Underground Railroad, and witness a historical reenactment.
  • Sunday, Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m., tour of the Susan B. Anthony House.

    “The program was developed to take advantage of the rich history this area has to offer and provide information about our country's history and the contribution this area has made to American life,” says Rhona Genzel, director of the English Language Center at RIT.

    NOTE TO MEDIA: To cover the classes or tours, contact Silandara Bartlett at 475-4948 or the English Language Center at 475-6684.