This summer, Julie Hansen, Director from Thaddeus Stevens School will travel to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut to attend a weeklong professional development seminar entitled “Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass.”

Led by renowned historian Professor David Blight of Yale University, the rigorous seminar will explore the thousands of pages of writings and over 1200 pages of autobiography to make him representative of the best and the worst of the American spirit.  He assumed three roles in American history: activist, artist, and thinker.

Julie Hansen will join 1,000 other K–12 teachers, library educators, and National Park Service interpreters–representing 48 states and the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, and an Armed Forces Americas School, as well as Australia, the Dominican Republic, Russia, South Africa, and Taiwan—who were selected in a competitive process by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Held at colleges and historic sites across the U.S. and the United Kingdom, the seminar will include daily programs with leading historians, visits to local historic sites, and hands-on work with primary source documents provided by their professor and the Gilder Lehrman Collection. Full room and board and a travel allowance will be provided to all participants.

“America’s struggle to live up to its commitment of “liberty and justice for all” exploded with the Civil War.  Frederick Douglass wrote volumes on the profound conflict between America’s stated values of personal liberty and concurrently legalizing the ownership of fellow human beings.  His writing dissected the problem philosophically, politically, socially, and artistically,” says Hansen.

Among the locations hosting 2018 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminars are Yale University, the University of Virginia, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Columbia University, Stanford University, the University of Edinburgh, Gettysburg College, Oxford University, and the National World War II Museum.

The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass” is one of 30 seminars being held this summer for K–12 teachers by the Gilder Lehrman Institute. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 20,000 educators have participated in Institute’s prestigious Teacher Seminars.