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.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Making use of what we already use - #affordablehousing for the #homeless

This Billboard Serves as a Homeless Shelter—and Pays for Itself

How many street benches or billboards do you walk or drive past a day? What if these places could provide inexpensive shelter for the homeless?

In Vancouver, local organization RainCity Housing is adding “pop-up roofs” to benches to provide temporary shelter from the often-rainy city’s nights. Architecture firm Design Develop in Banksá Bystrica, Slovakia is converting the typically two-dimensional advertising billboards into small living quarters, fitted with electricity and large enough to hold a bed, kitchen, desk, and bathroom. Better yet, the space will pay for itself, once companies rent the advertisements, and can be adapted to suit most cities. In Madison, Wisconsin, some private land-owners are offering their space and organizing fundraisers to build “tiny houses” for the homeless. These 99-square-foot homes are like the billboard living quarters: they have a sink and composting toilet, use propane tanks for heat, and solar panels provide electricity. Unlike the bench roofs and billboard houses, though, tiny houses are clustered together and create a community among formerly homeless people.

Would any of these options work in your city as easy, inexpensive means of providing affordable housing? Do you know of other innovative programs working to provide shelter to the homeless? 


Friday, July 25, 2014

CT Food Justice Youth Corps teens #takingaction and discussing #foodjustice issues on July 29 at Institute for Community Research

Next Tuesday, July 29, the Connecticut Food Justice Youth Corps will present a forum of teens discussing "food justice issues in their world." The program will feature teens participating in food accessibility efforts through Grow Hartford, YMCA and FRESH New London and will be held at the Institute for Community Research in Hartford. To reserve your seat, RSVP Kathy.engle-dulac@icrweb.org.

For more on food justice issues, check out the event recap and notes from our 2013 Cultivating Food Justice Salon.

The Connecticut Food Justice Youth Corps (CTFJYC) is a team of five AmeriCorps VISTA’s increasing the collaboration and coherence of non-profits working the field of Food Justice. The strength of this collaboration begins and ends with an understanding of what each of these separate organizations seek to create: a community movement, driven by youth, to improve the access and affordability of healthy food regardless of race, class, gender, ethnicity, or citizenship. These organizations have the common desire to give communities a voice that speaks to their own food needs and to ensure that this voice is loud enough to be heard.

Generally targeting middle and high school age students, individual organizations under the FJYC umbrella are developing a common curricula for use or adaptation at any school, a curricula that seeks to educate and empower. The youth that emerge as leaders, role models and activists are then given the tools to craft a movement of their own design, based on an assessment of community needs through their own eyes. It is the VISTA’s position to support the youth at each juncture, with the aid of community and college volunteers. Along the way youth groups will meet with partner organizations at food policy meetings, summits, and convening’s; the capstone being a youth driven convening for all of the partner organizations to attend, as well as speakers and advocates in the field of food justice. Youth groups will present their projects, the successes and the failures, and learn from one another just how powerful a group of young minds can be in changing the way their community looks at food.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

September 16 #humantrafficking workshop presented by @CTWAC

Join the World Affairs Council of Connecticut, Love 146, the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies, and the Stowe Center for A Look at Modern Day Slavery on September 16, 2014. The workshop will feature a screening of the documentary Not My Life and a session for local teachers lead by educator, abolitionist, and Stowe Center Teacher Advisor Wendy Nelson Kauffman.

See details below and click HERE to make your reservation!