Aires is proud to have participated in the Douglass Day transcribe event celebration of Black History Month. Sponsored by the Aires Cultural Collective Employee Resource Group, led by chairperson, Diana Murcia, and organized by Erica Weinberg.

More than 20 Aires employees participated in this year’s transcription event with over 7000 participants in 110 sites virtually. Some Aires employees could not make the scheduled meeting but were able to provide transcription assistance in their own time on that day.

The Douglass Day project is a collective action for Black History Month. It is celebrated every February 14th in honoring Frederick Douglass. Mr. Douglass was a leader of the abolitionist movement that sought to end the practice of slavery before and during the Civil War. His life was one of continual pushing for equality and human rights.

Each year, the Douglass Day organization hosts a virtual crowd sourcing transcription event, this year on the works of Mary Ann Shadd Cary. Mary Ann Shadd Cary (1823-1893) was an activist, journalist, teacher, intellectual and lawyer. Shadd Cary was one of the earliest Black women to found and edit a newspaper, attend law school, and serve as a Civil War recruiter. She grew up in the strong Black communities of Delaware and Philadelphia before immigrating to Canada. After the American Civil War, she moved to Washington, D.C. Across all these places, Shadd Cary worked endlessly to empower and educate Black people in the United States and Canada through her public writing and speaking, editing, suffrage activist, and community organizing.

Aires employees loved the event:

“Really interesting event for sure!”– Eric Kizina

“Very touching letter indeed! I think it is awesome that Aires had the opportunity to help transcribe and preserve those contents.” – Joy Williamson

“I came across this heartful letter Mary Ann Shadd Cary wrote to (I’m assuming her parents) and it really touched me. To think of what she had to give up in her fight for equality. Also, I couldn’t help but think that this type of cursive writing will be forgotten soon, and how honored I am to help in a very small way to preserve the contents for future generations. “ – Kaitlin Porter

You can re-watch the full livestream on YouTube or participate in transcribing at the website.




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