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Home > Douglass Day > Douglass Day 2018 > Douglass Day Organizing Kit 2018 > Douglass Day Outreach Guide

Douglass Day Outreach Guide

Compiled by Jim Casey, Denise Burgher, and datejie green

November 25, 2018

Return to the Organizing kit | Main event page


Welcome to Douglass Day 2019!

This guide provides a few suggestions about how to reach out to community and campus groups for Douglass Day. Let’s preserve Black history and build community together!

1. Identify the community groups in your area

The first step is to identify community groups in your area to invite to Douglass Day. Contacts for many of these groups may already exist in your institution. Think creatively! Who might like to engage with Black authors? Who might like to read inspiring words written by Black activists in the nineteenth century?

If these groups aren’t yet in your contact lists, Douglass Day is a great time to reach out in new directions. Who doesn’t like an invitation to a birthday party? Please consider even inviting some of these groups to join your event as co-hosts to activate new partners at your Douglass Day and future events.

  • Public groups: community centers, churches, libraries, senior centers, elementary schools, high schools, on-campus organizations, local social justice organizations, women’s and family shelters, historic associations, and other places where community members might gather.
  • Campus clubs and organizations: Black Students Associations, African American fraternities/sororities, National Society of Black Engineers, McNair Program, Mellon Mays Undergrad. Fellowship Program, and Upward Bound.
  • Academic programs: African American Studies, Black American Studies, Africana Studies, and American studies departments. If your event won’t be open to the public, please make sure that any and all African American, Africana, and Black groups on your campus are invited. 
  • Local African American historic groups: NAACP, Urban League, Black genealogical societies, historic homes, and museums.

2. Build a relationship. Send an email or a letter, then make a phone call!

Once you compile your list, contact them by email with a short note that describes your event and asks for a phone conversation. You may need to follow your note with a phone call to the directors, coordinators, or staff to invite them personally to attend your event. Ask for their help in spreading the word with their circles, and if they have any suggestions for your event. Always follow emails or invitation letters with a phone call. It is a few extra steps, but that personal touch goes a long way!

Think about all the contacts any people in your organization might have with local schools, churches, community centers etc. Empower those people to send the invitation/press releases or flyers and to make the phone calls about Douglass Day.

How might working together on Douglass Day create new and substantive opportunities for meaningful exchanges? Douglass Day is an exciting opportunity to bring the broader community into intellectual conversation.