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.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Amnesty International #MyBodyMyRights Campaign

Amnesty International has launched "My Body, My Rights," a global campaign predicated on ensuring that everyone has access to fundamental sexual and reproductive rights. The agency to make conscious choices regarding one's body, sexuality, and reproductive life are critical components of basic human rights.

Amnesty International maintains that everyone has the right too:
-Make decisions about our own health, body, sexual life, and identity without fear of coercion or criminalization
-Seek and receive information about sexuality and reproduction and access related health services and contraception
-Decide whether and when to have children, and how many to have
-Choose your intimate partner and whether and when to marry
-Decide what type of family to create
-Access family planning; contraception; safe and accessible post-abortion care; access to abortion in cases of rape, sexual assault or incest, and pregnancy that poses a risk to the life or to physical or mental health; and, where legal, access to safe abortion services
-Live free from discrimination, coercion and violence, including rape and other sexual violence,  female genital mutilation, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, forced sterilization and forced    marriage.

What do you think of the campaign? What types of policy initiatives can be enacted to improve access to reproductive and sexual rights? In what ways can members of the developed world help ensure the sexual and reproductive rights of those in developing nations?  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Haunting Human Trafficking PSA Hopes to Motivate Action

Filmmaker Jonathan Quigg recently released a short, one-minute Public Service Announcement that details the realities of victims of human trafficking. Poetic and engaging, the video reveals the often invisible existence of victims of trafficking and the ways in which this institution operates in everyday communities around the globe.

Quigg hopes the PSA will spark dialogue and awareness on the issue of modern day slavery and human trafficking. From an interveiw with The Huffington Post Quigg writes, "The main message of this video is quite simply that this is an issue that actually happens...It might not be obvious, but it truly is happening both internationally and within the cities that we live."

What do you think of the PSA? Is it a way to motivate action around the issue of human trafficking? After viewing this video, what are appropriate next steps? Is spreading awareness on the issue of modern day slavery enough to create lasting change?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

World Affairs Council and Stowe Center Host Workshop on Human Trafficking

This afternoon, the World Affairs Council of CT in conjunction with the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, held a screening of Not My Life followed by a workshop of ways to address the issue of human trafficking in classrooms and communities. Not My Life, directed by Robert Bilheimer and narrated by Glenn Close, examines the brutal practices of modern slavery and the ways in which human trafficking exists on a global scale. The workshop, lead by social studies teacher Wendy Nelson-Kauffman of the Metropolitan Learning Center and representatives from Love146, an organization combating child trafficking, guided participants through techniques and best practices to approach the often challenging and intense nature of human trafficking.

The workshop and film nearly filled to capacity, with students, community members, and local social activists in attendance.

This event is part of a larger initiative within the national World Affairs Councils of America to bring more awareness and knowledge to the issue of human trafficking.

What do you know about human trafficking?  Have you seen Not My Life? What are ways you will spread the word on the issue of human trafficking?