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, December 24, 2013

Who goes hungry during the holidays?

Happy Thanksgiving?Around Thanksgiving, the media was abuzz with news that additional cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("SNAP," aka food stamps) on November 1, 2013 would leave those most in need to face even tougher struggles during the holidays. At previous Stowe Center events, including the April 25, 2013 Cultivating Food Justice Salon, experts have shared the importance of SNAP to those in need and the impact that such government programs have locally. Rather than be cut, they made clear that SNAP benefits need to be increased.

This holiday season, the Food Research and Action Center has developed the #WhoGoesHungry? campaign to help food justice advocates use their voices and express their opinions to their congresspeople in Washington. Through social media and holiday cards to your representatives in Congress, you can express your support of SNAP. 

In 2012, the Stowe Center awarded the inaugural Student Stowe Prize College Award to Hannah Morgan (University of Maryland) who wrote about the importance yet restrictions of SNAP. To learn more about the realities of SNAP, read one of her articles below:

A 17-ounce box of Frosted Flakes cereal costs around $3 in many local stores. Add a gallon of milk, another $4, and four bananas, $1.56, and the total comes to around $9, not including tax. That’s almost a third of what many American families can afford to spend on food in a week, and that barely covers breakfast.

In response to the National Food Stamp Challenge, at least eight members of Congress, joined by community and religious leaders, decided to live on $31.50 for one week, the average weekly allotment received by millions of Americans living on food stamps. They met outside the Capitol Hill Safeway store on a recent rainy morning. Huddled among umbrellas and empty shopping carts, they spoke to a crowd of food stamp participants and members of the media about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the official name for the food stamp program since 2008.

The event was sponsored by a coalition of four major faith-based organizations: Catholic Charities USA, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and the Islamic Society of North America. The groups all united under the banner to “Fight Poverty with Faith”. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton said,“we need to fight poverty with faith because we are not doing so well fighting poverty with policy.” Then she, along with other participants, teamed up for a low-budget race through the store, scanning for items on sale and comparing the prices of breakfast cereals and oatmeal packets.

Do you know a high school or college student who, like Hannah, is writing for social justice? If so, encourage them to submit an entry to the 2014 Student Stowe Prize! Entries are due January 10, 2014. Contact StudentStowePrize@stowecenter.org for more information. 

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