33 William St
1:00 PM – 2:30 PM: Introduction of the program by Lee Blake, New Bedford Historical Society Executive Director and reading of City of New Bedford Proclamation by the 1850s Ladies, Ruth and Abby. Followed by call and response rendition of African American poetry and spirituals by Candida Rose and poet laureate Everett Hoagland. Plus a poetry recitation by Artist-in-Residence Iva Brito.
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Keynote Speaker – Janine da Silva, National Park Service Cultural Resources Specialist.
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Healing Day Bell Ringing Ceremony to honor the first enslaved African landing in English-occupied North America. This will be concurrent with bell ringing ceremonies across the nation. Limited bells will be provided and participants are encouraged to bring their own bells. Followed by a brief closing ceremony by Janine da Silva.
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Underground Railroad Tour – This tour highlights the role New Bedford played in the Underground Railroad as a destination for Africans and African Americans. Explore questions like: Where did Frederick Douglass and many fugitive slaves land in New Bedford? What did the movement to abolish slavery look like in New Bedford?
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Iva Brito, the park Artist-in-Residence and Cabo Verde native, will run a multi-sensory workshop that honors the pain and struggle of ancestors’ 400-year fight towards black equity and hopes of providing a healing space.