A Conversation with Frederick Douglass

Nathan M. Richardson, author, poet and historian
Tuesday, July 14, 2 p.m. Eastern Time

Register here

Join the noted abolitionist, author and speaker Frederick Douglass (as portrayed by Nathan Richardson), who has returned from Seneca Falls and will offer his observations on the recent women’s rights convention.

Nathan M. Richardson is a published author, performance poet and Douglass historian. His poetry collections include Likeness of Being, Twenty-one Imaginary T-shirts and Voices from the Wombs of Wisdom. His work has been widely republished in anthologies, magazines and newspapers, such as the Channel Marker, The Cupola, Coastal Virginia Magazine and The Washington Post.

Richardson teaches a variety of workshops for emerging writers and is the creator and host of the Poetry, Prose & Pizza Open Mic series. He is now in the sixth year of his living history program titled "The Frederick Douglass Speaking Tour." More information is available at scpublishing.com.

Agents of Change: Women's Civic Activism in Virginia from Suffrage to the Present

Dr. Karen Sherry, curator of Virginia Museum of History & Culture
Thursday, July 16, 2 p.m. Eastern Time

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This workshop explores key figures in a century of women’s activism in Virginia. The fight for the vote, which culminated in the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, ushered in a new era of female civic engagement as well as new attitudes about women’s role in American society.

In this workshop, we examine case studies of female changemakers who fought for equal rights and opportunities, and – in the process – fostered positive change in their communities, the commonwealth and the country.

Dr. Karen Sherry is a curator specializing in American history and material culture with 20 years of museum experience. Since 2017, she has served as a curator at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, where she organized the exhibitions "Determined: The 400-Year Struggle for Black Equality" and "Agents of Change: Female Activism in Virginia from Women’s Suffrage to Today."

Over the course of her career, Sherry has published, lectured and organized exhibitions on a range of topics related to American history. She has also received numerous grants and fellowships, including from the National Endowment for the Arts, Luce Foundation, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Smithsonian Institution. She holds a PhD and MA in art history from the University of Delaware and a BA from Boston University.

Girl Scouts: A Legacy of Civic Leadership Amidst Change

Sylvia Acevedo, CEO Girl Scouts of the USA
Tuesday, July 21, 2 p.m. Eastern Time

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Join us for a discussion of the ways in which the Girl Scouts for over a century have been at the forefront of civic leadership, helping girls to become leaders of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place. Over half of all female elected officials were Girl Scouts, over 60 percent of congressional representatives were Girl Scouts, as were all three female secretaries of state.

From public service during wars and pandemics, to the suffrage and civil rights movements, Girl Scouts have played a role in moving the nation forward. The importance of making societal change is now more important than ever. Acevedo will share how Girl Scouts is helping to educate girls on civics, democracy and government so that they can effectively lead change.

A lifelong Girl Scout, Acevedo was appointed CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA in May 2017, coming full circle from her youth as a Girl Scout in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Through Girl Scouts, she discovered her passion for space, science and math. Her interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects led her to a career as a rocket scientist, engineer, technology executive and award-winning STEM entrepreneur.

Acevedo has championed girls in STEM, the outdoors, entrepreneurship and leadership. Girl Scouts now earn badges in cybersecurity, robotics, design thinking, coding, eco-awareness, high-adventure outdoor activities and, of course, space science. Acevedo has been an engineer and executive at Apple, Dell, Autodesk and IBM. She began her career as a rocket scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where she created algorithms and analyzed data from Voyager 2’s spacecraft flyby of Jupiter and two of its moons, Io and Europa.

How Did the Civil War Change the Lives of American Women?

Jonathan W. White, American studies, Christopher Newport University
Thursday, July 23, 2 p.m. Eastern Time

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This webinar examines the ways in which the women altered the Civil War and the war altered the lives of women. The Civil War put the brakes on first-wave feminism, causing leaders of the movement to turn their attention away from the push for civil and political rights while the nation's life was at risk.

Nevertheless, the war opened up many new opportunities for women, North and South, black, and white. This session will explore the daily experiences of women in the Union and the Confederacy during the Civil War, with particular attention to those who worked as nurses, teachers, missionaries, homemakers, government employees and even soldiers.

White is the author or editor of 10 books, including Abraham Lincoln and Treason in the Civil War: The Trials of John Merryman and Emancipation, the Union Army, and the Reelection of Abraham Lincoln, which was a finalist for both the Lincoln Prize and Jefferson Davis Prize, a “best book” in "Civil War Monitor," and the winner of the Abraham Lincoln Institute’s 2015 book prize.

He has published more than one hundred articles, essays and reviews, and is the winner of the 2005 John T. Hubbell Prize for the best article in Civil War History, the 2010 Hay-Nicolay Dissertation Prize, and the 2012 Thomas Jefferson Prize for his Guide to Research in Federal Judicial History (2010).

White serves on the boards of directors of the Abraham Lincoln Institute, the Abraham Lincoln Association, the Lincoln Forum and the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia. He also serves on the Ford’s Theatre advisory council and the editorial board of the Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography.

In 2017, C-SPAN invited him to participate in its survey of presidential leadership.

His most recent books include Lincoln on Law, Leadership and Life (2015); Midnight in America: Darkness, Sleep, and Dreams during the Civil War (2017), which was selected as a “best book” by Civil War Monitor; and “Our Little Monitor”: The Greatest Invention of the Civil War (2018), which he co-authored with Anna Gibson Holloway. He is presently writing a biography of a convicted slave trader named Appleton Oaksmith.

Visit his website at jonathanwhite.org or follow him on Twitter at @CivilWarJon

Women in the Chesapeake

Wisteria Perry, manager of interpretation and community outreach, the Mariner's Museum
Tuesday, July 28, 2 p.m. Eastern Time

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Join us for a discussion of the ways in which the lives of women have been an integral component of the story about life on the estuaries that make up the Tidewater area of Virginia.

Teachers will use artifacts, documents and illustrations to discover 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century contributions of women to the communities, economy, transportation and culture of the Chesapeake Bay.

A Conversation with Angela

Valerie Holmes, historical interpreter
Thursday, July 30, 2 p.m. Eastern Time

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Listen to the personal experience of one of Angela, one of the first Africans to arrive in Virginia in 1619. Angela is portrayed by Valerie Holmes, who brings the lives and stories of African Americans to life for teachers and students around the country.

Holmes portrays women, some enslaved and some free, during various periods of the history of our country, in and near Colonial Williamsburg. She creates roles with the mission to portray with dignity the complexity of life of enslaved and free African American women. Her characters exhibit determination, courage and faith to ensure that their families and communities thrive, despite individual bondage and the fracturing of their families.

Holmes is from New Jersey. She attended college at Rutgers University and graduated from Hampton Institute with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She worked eight years at Newport News Shipbuilding as a buyer and earned a master's degree in performing arts from Regent University.

Holmes was honored as the outstanding graduate in the College of Communication and the Arts Institute of Performing Arts in May of 1991. She was nominated as best actress by Portfolio Magazine for her portrayal of Margaret in James Baldwin’s “Amen Corner.” She received the 2015 Women in American History Award from the Williamsburg Chapter of the National Society of DAR.





  • September 25
    Annual Constitution Day Debate: Freedom of Speech in Wartime and Peace

  • October 4
    Panel Session: Thucydides on Statesmanship and War

  • October 14
    Teacher Workshop - Virginia’s Legislative Tradition and Arrival of the First Africans

  • October 23
    Annual Conference on America’s Founding Principles and History: Lies, Spies, and the American Way - A History of Treason in America


  • February 10-11
    Symposium on Homeland Security and Defense
    Fifth annual Symposium on Homeland Security and Defense: Enhancing Resilience through Public-Private Partnerships


  • October 22
    Ninth Annual Conference on America's Founding Principles and History:
    Liberal Education and Its Critics >>

  • September 17
    Constitution Day Debate - Title IX and the Constitution


  • October 8-9 
    The Future of Religion in America: Eighth Annual Conference on America's Founding Principles and History
  • September 15 
    Filling in the Gaps: is Executive Prerogative Constitutional? 2014 Constitution Day Debate
  • July 17-18
    The Intellectual Origins of the American Revolution: Teaching Workshop
  • March 20
    Tocqueville's America: a lecture by Aristide Tessitore, Furman University
  • February 21 
    The Character and Statesmanship of George Washington: Teaching Workshop
  • February 5-6 
    Facing the Future of Cybersecurity: Annual Workshop on Intelligence and National Security