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.

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Monday, August 25, 2014

#Takingaction after the death of #MichaelBrown

In the wake of the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager killed by a white police officer, issues of racial profiling, police brutality, and the militarization of law enforcement have been thrust into national conversation. Ferguson, MO, the home of Michael Brown, has served as the backdrop to these discussions as residents exercise their right to protest and organize, often clashing with police in the process. While certainly a tragedy on an individual and personal level, the death of Brown also highlights the larger systemic forces that segregate young men of color. These forces are symptomatic of years of racism, a clouded history of slavery and cycles of poverty which we now must solve. Yet solutions to larger institutional issues are hard to come by as they demand all individuals, including those of dominant races and classes, to recognize inequalities and demand the political will necessary to confront them. 

Janee Woods of Quartz, published a list of “12 things white people can do now because Ferguson” to motivate individuals to take action on issues of racism and discrimination. 
Several of the actions include to:
  • Learn about the racialized history of Ferguson and how it reflects the racialized history of America.
  • Use words that speak the truth about the disempowerment, oppression, disinvestment and racism that are rampant in our communities.
  • Understand the modern forms of race oppression and slavery and how they are intertwined with policing, the courts and the prison industrial complex.
  • Be proactive in your own community.

What else would you add to this list? In the wake of the death of Michael Brown, how can we make our communities more inclusive? What will you do to foster discussion and action around issues of racism and profiling?

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