American Diversity & Frederick Douglass: Lessons from the Prophet of Freedom

Faculty and students are invited to an upcoming program, American Diversity and Frederick Douglass – Lessons from the Prophet of Freedom, featuring a discussion with David Blight, the renowned biographer of Douglass, and Kenneth Morris, Jr., a fourth generation descendant of Douglass and co-founder/president of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives.  The event includes a panel discussion on Douglass’ legacy in the 21st century, a dialogue between David Blight and Kenneth Morris, and a book signing with author David Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.

  • When: Tuesday, December 4, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Where: Magic Spell Studios, Wegman’s Auditorium (71-2180)
  • Click here to register

Join us for an exciting program on the life and meaning of Frederick Douglass, America’s Prophet of Freedom. This is a rare opportunity to learn about Douglass’s exceptional life and its meaning from some of the nation’s leading experts. 

The first 40 faculty and/or students to register and attend will be eligible for a free copy of David Blight’s book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom.  You will be able to pick up your book the day of the event. 


Schedule (come to one or all!

10 am - 11 am - Panel 1: Frederick Douglass: A Prophet of Freedom for the 21st Century - This session includes insights on Douglass’s legacy in the 21st century from a variety of educators and community leaders who have worked on the Douglass Bicentennial.

  • Robert Benz , co-founder and Executive Vice-President of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, an advocacy organization dedicated to community outreach and uplift and sponsor of the “The FD 200,” a public celebration of 200 activists worldwide who embody Frederick Douglass’ activist spirit.
  • Carvin Eison, project director for Rochester’s Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Committee, Associate Professor at The College at Brockport, and director of July '64: The Roots of Urban Unrest, a celebrated documentary on racial conflict in Rochester during the early 1960s
  • Olivia Kim , adjunct professor in RIT’s School of Art and Design, who was commissioned to produce 13 replica statues of Douglass to mark the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial

11 am - 12 pm - Panel 2:  A Conversation on America’s Prophet of Freedom with David Blight and Kenneth Morris, Jr.

  • David Blight is author of the brand new biography, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, which has been called “moving,” “monumental,” and “brilliant” by reviewers. He is the Class of 1954 Professor of History and the Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University.

  • Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., is the founder of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiative and a direct descendant of Frederick Douglass. He is one of the nation’s leading educational speakers and the organizer of the One Million Abolitionists campaign, which is dedicated to spurring activism in the name of his celebrated ancestor.

Immediately following the panel - Book signing with David Blight.

Jointly sponsored by College of Liberal Arts (CLA), Department of History (CLA), Faculty Career Development in the Innovative Learning Institute, The Caroline Werner Gannett Chair in Digital Humanities, the School for Individualized Study, and the Center for Statesmanship, Law and Liberty.


Photo of book, Frederick Douglass-Prophet of Freedom