FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Robert J. Benz at (585) 310-4559 rbenz@fdfi.org

 

Frederick Douglass Family Hosts July Fourth Webcast Celebrating Award-Winning Bloggers And More

 

(July 1, 2020, Rochester, NY) On July 4, 2020, at 12:00 PM Eastern Time, Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI) will host a live webcast to announce the winners of their Remedies Blog Contest. The webcast will showcase Rochester, NY-based orators; young activist, Yolanda King, granddaughter of Martin Luther King, Jr.; gospel singer, Keedron Bryant; Marva Hicks singing a song from the new Douglass musical, American Prophet and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, David Blight. The event will be hosted by Nettie Washington Douglass, Chair of FDFI, and great-great-granddaughter of Douglass as well as the great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington. Her son, Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., FDFI President, will co-host.

Support for the competition is being provided by Grammarly. “We’re proud to partner with FDFI and sponsor the Remedies Blog Contest, which aligns profoundly with Grammarly’s mission to improve lives by improving communication,” said Senka Hadzimuratovic, Head of Communications at Grammarly. “Our technology exists to help people write what they mean with confidence. We recognize the power words can have in sparking change and igniting entire movements—and we’ve been so encouraged to see today’s youth express themselves in ways that will do just that.”

The contest was announced on June 1, 2020. FDFI asked young people to extend Frederick Douglass’s comparison of racial prejudice to a “disease” and submit their ideas for practical “remedies” in the form of short blogs with between 500 and 800 words. Seven winners, ages 13 to 22, were chosen nationally including three from Rochester, NY. The winning blogs will be posted one per day at www.fdfi.org/blog beginning at 2pm eastern time on July 4.

Remedies sponsor, Ajamu Kitwana, Vice President/Director, ESL Federal Credit Union says, “After reading these inspiring essays, I can confidently say that the future is bright for our children and young adults. Ensuring that our children are engaged, educated, and motivated is not only a sign of the times we are experiencing but a testament that younger generations are ready to be the torchbearers for positive change in our country.” The contest is also supported by Michelle and Eric Daniels, Humanities New York, and the Todd Allen family.

Dr. Hank Rubin, Founding Director of FDFI’s, Frederick Douglass Center for Collaborative Leadership, commented on the voices emerging from this competition and from protests across the United States, “Frederick Douglass said ‘Power concedes nothing without a demand.’ 2020 is showing us that young people are ready to agitate and they’re demanding change now. These are our rising leaders. We need to step back, listen, and support their vision.”

Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives is an Abolitionist and AntiRacist organization co-founded by direct descendants of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. Its mission is To build strong children and to end systems of exploitation and oppression. From their headquarters in Rochester, NY, FDFI is working to end racial inequity. They have been a national leader in implementing human trafficking prevention education curricula in classrooms nationally since 2007. Learn more at http://www.fdfi.org.

Winning bloggers may be available for interviews. Contact Robert J. Benz for details rbenz@fdfi.org.

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