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, January 10, 2014

How do you teach modern-day slavery in the classroom?

Cotton pickerIf you think back to your middle school, high school and perhaps college days, you will recall learning about slavery and the international slave trade in history class. But how often is modern day slavery taught in the classroom?

Michaela Alfred-Kamara, Education Officer at Anti-Slavery International, recently published "Teaching slavery: tips for tackling the issues in the classroom" in the British publication The Guardian. She suggests using the themes of continuity and change in classes like citizenship, religious education, geography, and English to introduce modern-day slavery and human trafficking; such lessons build connections between the institution of slavery and contemporary human rights. She outlines 5 ways to incorporate contemporary slavery into a class curriculum:
  • Clearly define slavery and avoid conflating related issues
  • Embed slavery in the curriculum
  • illustrate the local and global context and impact of slavery
  • Avoid perpetuating the "poor victims" syndrome
  • Empower students to be modern day abolitionists

Are you a teacher or educator who teaches modern day slavery in the classroom? How do you incorporate the topic into your lessons and how do you inspire your students to be abolitionists? Share your thoughts in the comments section below! Take a look at the Stowe Center's School Program Brochure to learn more about our educational programs and how we use the story of Harriet Beecher Stowe to inspire today's young activists. Email SchoolPrograms@stowecenter.org for more on how you can arrange a visit to the Stowe Center!

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