Mary Ann Shadd Cary Symposia Series

Civil Rights Pioneer: From Delaware to Canada West to Washington, DC

Three Event Series • Free and open to the public • Online via Zoom

RSVP and register at:

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As we approach the 200th anniversary of Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s birth in 2023, the Colored Conventions Project is partnering with leading scholars, archivists, artists, and writers to host a series of digital events that explore her life and legacy. This pioneering educator was the first Black woman to edit a newspaper in North America and the first to attend law school. Please join us as we explore the legacy of this pioneering Delawarian who broke barriers for Black Canadians and in DC after the Civil War. RSVP to sign up for these online events!

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Mary Ann Shadd Cary and the Power of Black Art

Friday, Oct. 9, 2020 • 1:00-2:15pm via Zoom

October 9th, Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s birthday, will include scholars, writers, and artists whose scholarly and artistic work draws upon the powerful legacy of Mary Ann Shadd Cary.


1) Introduction by Kristin Moriah
2) Mary Ann Shadd Cary’s Story through performance by Sharing Our Legacy Dance Theatre
3) Artistic Directors Discussion with charles e. smith, Lynnette Overby, and Emilie-Andree Jabouin
4) Live Performance of Torch Bearer: Dance by Emilie-Andree Jabouin, poetry by Glenis Redmond, and music by Ralph Russell. Choreography by Emilie-Andree Jabouin and Lynnette Overby.
5) Closing by Kristin Moriah


Kristin Moriah is an Assistant Professor of English at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. As a Colored Convention Project’s satellite partner, she is a symposium co-organizer and will edit a collection on Mary Ann Shadd Cary.
Lynette Overby is Professor of Theatre at University of Delaware and Artistic Director of SOL. She serves as co-editor of Dance: Current Selected Research and was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Dance Education Organization.
charles c. smith is a poet, playwright and essayist who has written and edited fourteen books. charles is the Executive Director of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario and Artistic Director of the wind in the leaves collective.
Emilie-Andree Jabouin is a graduate student at Ryerson University. Her interests include Black Canadian and immigration history, archives and memory, print and visual media analysis, theatrical performance, and social and liberation movements.
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Sharing Our Legacy Dance Theater: Mary Ann Shadd Cary – Her Life and Legacy



Ralph Russell received his doctorate in Composition from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His composes for large and small ensembles. Recently, he composed and arranged short pieces for several dance productions in Delaware: Women of ConsequenceDavid the Potter, Same Story, Uprising, and Re-Entry.
Glenis Redmond’s love of words has carried her across the country for two decades. She logs over 35,000 miles a year bringing poetry to the masses. This Road Warrior Poet, though steeped in Afro-Carolininan roots, speaks a universal tongue of love, loss, celebration, sorrow and hope.

Upcoming Events:

Winter 2021: Mary Ann Shadd Cary Symposium, Part II: Archives and Collections

Spring 2021: Mary Ann Shadd Cary Symposium: Part III: Research Papers & Symposium

This event was made possible with the support of:

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The Colored Conventions Project appreciates the support of:


The Colored Conventions Project was launched & cultivated at the University of Delaware from 2012-2020.