Reading Frederick Douglass Together

Reading Frederick Douglass Together grants of up to $2,000 support public readings and discussions in Massachusetts of the orator’s famous address, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” 

Application Opens
February 5, 2024
Next application deadline
April 5, 2024

About this Grant

Reading Frederick Douglass Together grants support public readings and discussions in Massachusetts of the orator’s famous address, “What to the
Slave is the Fourth of July?”

Readings can take place anywhere, from community centers to historical societies to town greens. At each event, people take turns reading parts of the speech until it is completed. Each community considers the meaning of the speech in the past and its resonances in the present. 

Grant DETAILS

All nonprofit, educational institutions, government organizations, or state or federally recognized tribes that serve Massachusetts residents are eligible to apply.

Ad-hoc groups must find an eligible organization to be their fiscal sponsor. Fiscal sponsors are non-profit organizations that manage the grant funds and have signed fiscal sponsor agreements with the group that will host the reading.

Grant applications will open December 11th, 2023. Grants are awarded every 3-4 weeks through June (see the Grant Guidelines document linked above for details).  
Application Deadline: Grants Announced:
January 5, 2024 January 22, 2024
February 2, 2024 February 19, 2024
March 9, 2024 March 18, 2024
April 5, 2024 April 22, 2024
May 10, 2024 May 28, 2024
June 7, 2024 June 17, 2024

View our Reading Frederick Douglass Together resources page.

Read the history of the Reading Frederick Douglass Together program.

with this
grant, you can...

Host

local public readings, gather with your neighbors, and read the speech out loud from start to finish.

Learn

about the shared reading tradition and the power of gathering your community to reflect on historical texts

Spark

new ideas about the life and legacy of Frederick Douglass while discussing current civic issues.

CREATE

opportunities for yourself and others to bridge the past and present.

Experience a reading

Relive moments from our first shared reading of 2024, which took place at the UMass Amherst College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Where it
all began

Inspired by a visit to a correctional facility in 1995, writer Earl Shorris started a course with faculty of fellow scholars at the Roberto Clemente Family Guidance Center in the city’s Lower East Side neighborhood. Graduates of that first course went on to become dentists, nurses, fashion designers, and drug counselors with two participants later earning their PhDs. Since 1996, over 10,000 students have benefited from the Clemente Course in the Humanities. Classes continue to take place across the U.S., and around the world.

In 1999, we brought the Clemente Course to Massachusetts to give everyone, regardless of race, income and educational background, the opportunity to enrich their lives through the humanities. Overcoming formidable obstacles such as economic instability, health challenges, family responsibilities and disability, we have seen over 750 Massachusetts residents graduate from the program.

Past Grantees

Learn about past projects completed by grantees.

grant webinars
& workshops

Mass Humanities hosts periodic webinars and workshops to support you and set the stage for a successful funded project. 

Al and Sally Griggs
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, through the Federation of State Humanities Councils
The Beveridge Family Foundation, Inc.
F. Roscoe and Vila B. Webber 1985 Charitable Trust
Marcia Butzel Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
Paul and Edith Babson Foundation
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Wells Fargo Foundation

Let’s do more good
work together

The work we do wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of donors like you. Make a donation today and help build a better Massachusetts.

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connected

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Grant Program
  • READING FREDERICK DOUGLASS TOGETHER
  • 2020 SUPPORT GRANTS
  • BRIDGE STREET SPONSORSHIPS
  • DIGITAL CAPACITY GRANTS
  • DISCUSSION
  • EXPAND MASSACHUSETTS STORIES
  • RESEARCH INVENTORY GRANT
  • MAJOR
  • MASS HUMANITIES CARES ACT
  • MASS HUMANITIES SHARP GRANTS
  • MINI
  • MUSEUM ON MAIN STREET (MOMS) CROSSROADS
  • PROJECT
  • PROJECT-THE VOTE
  • PROPOSAL DEVELOPMENT
  • PUBLIC SQUARED
  • RESOURCE CENTER
  • SCHOLAR IN RESIDENCE
  • STAFFING RECOVERY
  • STAFFING THE HUMANITIES
  • STAFFING THE HUMANITIES - YEAR 2
Amount
  • < $2,000
  • $2,000 - $7,500
  • $7,500 - $20,000
  • > $20,000