Welcome to the conversation!

Welcome to the conversation!

Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) best-selling anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852), made her the most famous American woman of the 19th century and galvanized the abolition movement before the Civil War.

The Stowe Center is a 21st-century museum and program center using Stowe's story to inspire social justice and positive change.

The Salons at Stowe programs are a forum to connect the challenging issues (race, gender and class) that impelled Stowe to write and act with the contemporary face of those same issues. The Salon format is based on a robust level of audience participation, with the explicit goal of promoting civic engagement. Recent topics included: Teaching Acceptance; Is Prison the New Slavery; Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North; Creativity and Change; Race, Gender and Politics Today; How to be an Advocate

This blog will expand the reach of these community conversations to the online audience. Add your posts and comments to keep the conversation going! Commit to action by clicking HERE to stay up to date on Salon and social justice news.

For updates on Stowe Center programs and events, sign up for our enews at http://harrietbeecherstowe.org/email.

Friday, April 24, 2015

#StandAgainstRacism with @HBStoweCenter @YWCAUSA

From Friday, April 24 to Sunday April, 26 the Stowe Center will be partnering with the YWCA to participate in the annual Stand Against Racism campaign. The campaign works to build community with those who work for racial justice and recognize the negative impact of interpersonal, systemic, and institutional racism.


Join us as together we raise awareness of the interpersonal, social, political, and economic effects of racism and devise action steps to counter racism in our communities. Enjoy the new Stowe House experience tour that connects the past to the present and includes a facilitated conversation on contemporary issues surrounding race and discrimination.

Stowe House tours: On the bottom of the hour

Child's Tour at 1:30 PM Saturday and Sunday -- Reservations suggested: 860-522-9258, ext. 317.

How has racism evolved since Stowe’s time? How can we continue the work of Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and other abolitionists today? How can we combat racism on an interpersonal level, but also on a structural and institutional level? Come to the Stowe Center and share your thoughts!  


April 23rd marks World Book and Copyright Day, an annual celebration highlighting the power of books to change thoughts, lives, and communities at large. World Book and Copyright Day is sponsored by the United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). UNESCO recognizes both the personal and political power of the book as a force to spread cultural awareness, shared history, and new ideas. UNESCO writes:

As global symbols of social progress, books – learning and reading -- have become targets for those who denigrate culture and education, who reject dialogue and tolerance. In recent months, we have seen attacks on children at school and the public burning of books. In this context, our duty is clear – we must redouble efforts to promote the book, the pen, the computer, along with all forms of reading and writing, in order to fight illiteracy and poverty, to build sustainable societies, to strengthen the foundations of peace. 

Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin changed the ways in which white Americans viewed slavery and galvanized a generation to join the abolition movement.  Uncle Tom's Cabin serves as an example of the potential books have to alter the discourse around certain issues and motivate individuals to action. 

What books have changed your mind on an issue? What books do you regards as being socially and politically important? What power do you think books hold? Let us know!

Monday, April 20, 2015

#SalonsAtStowe Recap: Ways to Get Involved and Continue the Conversation

Unlearning Unconscious Bias

On Thursday, April 16th, the Stowe Center hosted Unlearning Unconscious Bias, a Salon at Stowe on the implications and nature of implicit, or unconscious, bias. Featured guests included Maureen Price-Boreland, Executive Director of Community Partners in Action, Andrew Clark, Director of the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at Central Connecticut State University, and guest moderator Deb Ullman, CEO of the YWCA. 

More Information and Ways YOU Can Take Action 
Community Partners in Action 

Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy 

YWCA Hartford Region 

National Conference for Community and Justice 

Implicit Association Tests 


Kali Holloway, AlterNet 

Chris Mooney, Mother Jones  

Chris Mooney, The Washington Post

Brittany Cooper, Salon 

Theodore R. Johnson, The Atlantic 

Jamelle Bouie, Slate

Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker  

Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times  

Action Steps 
-Have a willingness to have conversations on implicit bias and continue the conversation after the program ends
-Think about impact of language and action; Intent is often different than impact
-Combat "boot-straps" theory; Instead of criticizing individuals, critique institutional and structural inequities
-Embrace, instead of tolerate, diversity
-Educate yourself on biases against all identities; Understand, racism, sexism, homophobia, ableism, ageism etc. 
-Small actions build momentum- go into own community and be an "ambassador" for change
-Critically examine media
-Recognize race is a social construct, but that it still has social, political, and economic implications
-Check our own biases and privileges
-Take a Stand Against Racism with the YWCA 

What will you do to recognize and combat bias? What are you already doing? Let us know!