WESTPORT — Kenneth J. Morris Jr., the great-great-great grandson of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, returns to the North Country this week for Emancipation Weekend, set for Friday and Saturday.
Through his work with the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, he has inspired students across the country to produce a New Proclamation of Freedom for the 21st century, according to a press release from John Brown Lives! and other organizers of the two-day event.
Morris will meet with students and educators Friday at North Country Community College and then again on Saturday at a daylong seminar open to the public at Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid.
Over the course of Emancipation Weekend, Morris will talk about slavery in Douglass’s time and today and encourage audiences, especially students and teachers, to gather signatures for the New Proclamation. The thousands of signatures collected across the country will be delivered to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 1, 2013, the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
Its aim is to encourage the U.S. Department of Education to make Human Trafficking Education a priority for U.S. public schools.
The events, open to the public, are part of Freedom Then, Freedom Now: The Long History of Emancipation, sponsored by John Brown Lives!, North Country Community College, the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, and the 600,000-member New York State United Teachers. North Country Public Radio is media sponsor.
Here’s the schedule:
A Day for Students and their Instructors. 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. North Country Community College, Saranac Lake. Writer Amy Godine will speak on civil rights champions of the Adirondacks, also features artist Robert Shetterly on his “Americans Who Tell the Truth” portraits and abolitionist Kenneth Morris Jr. Free. $5 for lunch. Registration required.
“Glory.” 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Palace Theater, Lake Placid. Screening of the Civil War film and discussion afterwards, in partnership with the Adirondack Film Society. $5.
A Day for Educators, Librarians and the Interested Public. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Heaven Hill Farm, Lake Placid. Features Dr. Gloria Browne-Marshall on freedom and the founding documents; Dr. Margaret Washington on women and emancipation; Kenneth Morris Jr. on emancipation today; Dr. Franny Nudelman on emancipating textbooks; and interactive workshops on emancipation in art, film and music.
The Historical Memory of the Civil War and Emancipation at 150. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Northwoods Inn, Lake Placid. Keynote address by historian David Blight, director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University. $5 admission. Cash bar reception.
For information and to register, email email@example.com or call 962-4798.