The Rochester Reform Trail, NEH Landmark Workshop

Frederick_Douglass_by_Samue

So I thought I would share a little project that I am currently working on. It’s called the Reform Rochester Trail, and is a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop hosted by the College at Brockport, State University of New York, and the State University of New York Research Foundation. I am responsible for the Social Media Outreach for the program (and hopefully eventually getting some photography involved as well!)

Here’s a little blurb about what the Reform Rochester Trail actually is:

“In the summer of 2014 this NEH Landmarks Workshop will bring together school teachers, public historians, and scholarly experts for two week long programs focusing on Rochester’s iconic 19th century technological, economic and reform landmarks.

In the early nineteenth century Rochester was at the center of a national effort to reform American society. National figures like Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and Charles G. Finney made Rochester their home and turned the frontier boomtown into an epicenter for progressive thought and action. Working alongside nearby leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Seneca Falls, they led the nation in the battle against long-entrenched notions of racial and gender inferiority. More than 150 years later Rochester’s landscape is still marked by their efforts.

Through field trips, scholarly presentations and seminar-style discussions, NEH Summer Scholars will examine the complex history of reform as expressed in landmarks such as the Broad Street Aqueduct, the Erie Canal, Mount Hope Cemetery, the Susan B. Anthony House, the nearby Seneca Falls Women’s Rights National Historical Park and others. Teachers will visit these sites while studying the writings of the men and women who made Rochester a center for reform culture in antebellum America.”

There are great benefits for social studies teachers who chose to participate in this Rochester-based program, including a stipend, some travel/hotel expense, etc. Not to mention, a great hands-on experience revolving around Rochester’s rich reform-era history.

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The Rochester Reform Trail is still in its infancy – the workshops won’t be taking place until the summer of 2014, so at the moment, my goal is just to raise awareness of the program through social media. (Here come’s the plug).

Check out the Reform Trail Facebook and Twitter!

Also, here is a link to the Reform Trail page on Brockport’s website – a full site will be launching soon, and I will make everyone aware of that when it does! So check out the social media and Brockport’s page – consider if this is something you might be interested in participating in this coming summer. Or, if you happen to know a K-12 Social Studies teacher who might be interested, send them the link!

Through the Facebook and Twitter, I will keep followers updated on news about the program, how to apply, scheduling, and also random Rochester-history facts, quotes from Reform-era leaders, and historic photographs!

Here’s just a little snapshot of the sort of history that the Rochester Reform Trail will be focusing on:

In the early nineteenth century Rochester was at the center of a national effort to reform American society. Confident in their ability to harness the industrial power of the Genesee River and the technological marvels of the Erie Canal, Rochester citizens embraced an ideology of progress. Organizing to overcome the many social and domestic problems that derived from the industrial and transportation revolutions, Rochester’s citizens soon tackled national issues like slavery and women’s rights. National figures like Susan B. Anthony, Frederick Douglass and Charles Finney made Rochester their home, and turned the frontier boomtown into a hotbed of progressive thought and action.

Working alongside nearby leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton of Seneca Falls, they led the nation in the battle against long-entrenched notions of racial and gender inferiority. More than 150 years later Rochester’s landscape is still marked by their efforts; walking along the streets of Rochester you will come across their historic homes, or wander through an aqueduct which long ago transported them even as it transformed their world. Douglass and Anthony rest here still, buried not far from each other in Mt. Hope Cemetery. The workshop explores their efforts to reform American society through visits to landmark reform sites, brief talks and seminar discussions with scholarly experts, and readings.

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As soon as I have more information about the Rochester Reform Trail, I will share it! But for now, like our Facebook page, and follow our Twitter for history, education, and information!

Stay tuned!

“Organize, articulate, educate, must be our war cry.”
Susan B. Anthony

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