Douglass Week, an annual series of events commemorating the life and legacy of American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, will take place in Rochester, New York this July.
Douglas Week 2023 will take place between July 10 and July 16, with online events planned for July 10-13 and in-person events scheduled to take place in Rochester between July 14-16.
Rochester, along with Co Cork and Washington, DC, boasts significant ties to the life and legacy of Douglass. Earlier this month, Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork Colm Kelleher visited Rochester and Washington, DC to expand the connections between Cork and the two cities.
View this post on Instagram
Douglass Week is an annual event series celebrating the inspiration of Frederick Douglass around the world. The week includes discussions, performances, exhibitions, and events featuring researchers, musicians, poets, and authors to promote collaboration and engagement.
The inaugural Douglass Week took place in Cork in 2021, with last year's commemoration taking place in Washington.
Speaking in Rochester on March 2, Kelleher said Cork was "honored" by its connection to Frederick Douglass.
"Cork is honored by our connection to Frederick Douglass, who forged many lifelong friendships in our city during his 1845 visit," Kelleher said.
"We’ve had a fantastic response to The Cork Abolitionists Trail, and we’re delighted to be talking with officials in Rochester to plan further links to connect our students and libraries and help ensure that this important history reaches an even wider audience and encourages young people to take inspiration from the story of Douglass’s remarkable life."
In 1845, Douglass spent a month in Cork while on a two-year tour of Great Britain and Ireland, which saw him give several anti-slavery speeches while raising money for the abolitionist cause.
Douglass described his time in Ireland as “transformative,” and his experiences in Cork were key to the development of his political thought and sense of self.
Douglass moved his family to Rochester after returning from the two-year tour in 1847 and lived there for 25 years.
Rochester Mayor Malik D. Evans said the city was also proud of its connection to Douglass.
"It’s an honor to welcome Councillor Colm Kelleher to Rochester to meet with our local Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives," Evans said.
"The cities of both Cork and Rochester are proud of our connections to Frederick Douglass, and his advocacy for the dignity and freedom of all people."
Douglass Week is organized in partnership with the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI), co-founded by great-great-great-grandson Kenneth B. Morris.
Morris said Rochester is "so important" to his family and encouraged young people to become involved in the commemoration.
"We hope many people can join us in July to commemorate my great-great-great grandfather and all he stood for and achieved throughout his life," Morris said in a statement.