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.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

#RadicalBrownies Inspire Action and Justice

Oakland's newest band of radical activists is a group of fourth-graders. The "Radical Brownies" out of Oakland, CA, are a politically conscious, socially active version of the Girl Scouts designed for young girls of color. Members wear berets in the style of prior activist groups, like the Black Panthers and Brown Berets, and earn badges on "Black Lives Matter" and "LGBT allyship."  

Co-founder Anayvette Martinez started "Radical Brownies" with the intention of creating an empowering, inclusive group where young girls of color could learn and develop as social justice activists. Created just a month ago, the group has 12 members in the Oakland area and is looking to expand to more cities soon.

What do you think of the "Radical Brownies"? How can we create more spaces where young people can participate in politically relevant practices?  

Monday, January 26, 2015

Can video games generate #empathy?

Planted in the developed world, it can be difficult to understand the tangled web of actors and issues that comprise the world's most pressing conflicts. Even more difficult than mere understanding, is relating to the plight of individuals and communities a world away. Project Syria aims to counteract this dissonance by granting users an opportunity to understand daily life amid the Syrian Civil War through interactive video play. Developed by students at the University of Southern California, the game utilizes first-person interviews, documentary footage, and audio samplings to give users an opportunity to immerse themselves, albeit virtually, in a high-conflict environment. 

Nonny de la Peña, head of Project Syria, describes virtual reality as an "empathy generator," and seeks with the project to inspire connections and motivate further learning on the Syrian conflict.  

What do you think of Project Syria? Can a video game connect users with the plights of communities around the world? Does it exploit the suffering some communities experience? 

Harriet Beecher Stowe's loss of her son Samuel Charles allowed her to begin to empathize with the heartbreak women who were enslaved endured when they were taken or separated from their families. She then infused this empathy into Uncle Tom's Cabin. Can we generate empathy without experiencing tragedy ourselves? Have you ever felt empathy from a movie, book, song, or game?  

Saturday, January 24, 2015

#SalonsatStowe: Ways to Get Involved and Continue the Conversation

Has Racial Inequality Reached the Tipping Point? 

More Information and Ways YOU Can Take Action

Hartford Action

Greater Hartford NAACP

Urban League of Greater Hartford

YWCA Hartford Region








Kristin Stoller, The Hartford Courant

What other organizations would you add to this list? What other articles would you suggest? What are your thoughts on racial inequality? Have we reached the tipping point? How can we work to combat interpersonal, but also institutional racism and inequality?