2012 Schwartz Prize Winner: Mass Humanities

Reading Fredrick Douglass


Designed to attract a diverse audience, "Reading Fredrick Douglass" is a statewide multi-year initiative in which Mass Humanities collaborates with local groups to organize public shared readings of Fredrick Douglass' 1852 speech, "The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro." Mass Humanities sought to organically grow this initiative by encouraging cities and organizations to set up their own "Reading Fredrick Douglass" events. To do this, Massachusetts created a web resource that houses the program's materials, including instructions on how to initiate and promote the event with minimal council involvement.

The project started in 2009 with one public reading and drew a crowd of 100 people. In 2011, events involved more than 70 organizations and in 2012 drew more than 650 people.

Learn more about Massachusetts's Reading Fredrick Douglass:
Schwartz Prize nomination materials
Website