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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

#SalonatStowe: Meet the Featured Guests!

Tonight, join us for "Policing the Police: How Can Communities Transform Law Enforcement?"another Salon at Stowe program.

Leading the discussion will be Bishop John Selders and David McGuire. Meet them below!

Bishop John Selders 
The Right Reverend Doctor John L. Selders, Jr. is the Associate Chaplain at Trinity College as well as an ordained minister serving in the United Church of Christ, and the Organizing Pastor of Amistad United Church of Christ, Hartford, CT. Bishop Selders has done his academic and theological reflection attending Life Christian Bible College, Webster University, Eden Theological Seminary and Anglican Divinity School. In addition to being a talented award winning songwriter, musician and performer with local, national, and international credits, he is also the Bishop Presider of The Inter-Denominational Conference of Liberation Congregations and Ministries (ICLCM) and is the Co-Convening Bishop of The Sacred College of Progressive Episcopates (SCPE). 

Bishop Selders has exhibited extraordinary commitment and dedication to a number of efforts affording him the opportunity to travel across the country speaking, lecturing and conducting workshops in the areas of race, anti-racism and internalized oppression. He serves on a number of boards and works with several organizations both locally and nationally whose work is ultimately concerned with the healing of humanity.​ He is one of the founders and leaders of Moral Monday CT, an activist and turn-up group an issues of racial justice and Black Lives Matter in CT.

David McGuire  

David McGuire is the Interim Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of CT. McGuire joined the ACLU-CT in 2007. His primary areas of legal interest are prisoner rights, digital privacy and free speech issues. He has also taken a leading role in pressing for police accountability legislation and was instrumental in passing laws to reform police complaint procedures and police use of Tasers. McGuire received his B.A. in history from Purdue University in 2003 and graduated cum laude from Western New England College School of Law in 2006. After law school, he clerked for the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court. 

What will you ask the featured guests? Share in the comments below!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

#SalonatStowe: Meet the Featured Guests

Tonight, join the Stowe Center for a conversation on protests and social movements. Leading the conversation will be featured guests, David Canton and Jeffrey Ogbar. Read all about them below!

David Canton

David Canton in an Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Program at Connecticut College. David Canton believes that African-American urban history illustrates the impact of racism, classism, and sexism in the black community. It also provides insight to the origins of 20th century black urban poverty, civil rights struggle, black class formation, and black community development.

David Canton's latest book, Raymond Pace Alexander: A New Negro Lawyer Fights for Civil Rights in Philadelphia, was published in May, 2010, by the University Press of Mississippi. The book has been awarded the 2011 W.E.B. Du Bois Book Prize from the Northeast Black Studies Association.

Canton was the Jacob and Linda Blaustein Assistant Professor of History and in 2009 was promoted to Associate Professor. From 2009-2012, he served as Director of the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity and as Co-Director of the Mellon Mays Fellows Program. He is the POSSE 5 faculty mentor and in 2014-2015 served as chair of the History Department.

Professor Canton has received the following awards: Tempel Summer Institute, Connecticut College (Summer 2004), National Endowment of the Humanities Summer Institute, African American Struggle For Civil Rights 1877-1965 (Summer 2003), Temple University Dissertation Completion Grant, 2000-2001. 

Jeffrey Ogbar is a Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music. Jeffrey Ogbonna Green Ogbar was born in Chicago and raised in Los Angeles, California. He received his BA in History from Morehouse College in Atlanta (’91). He earned his MA (’93) and Ph.D. (’97) in U.S. History with a minor in African studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. Since 1997 he has taught at the University of Connecticut’s Department of History. From 2003-2009 he served as the Director of the Institute for African American Studies. He served as Associate Dean for the Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences from 2009-2012. In June 2012 he was named the University’s Vice Provost for Diversity. In 2014 he became founding director of the Center for the Study of Popular Music.

Jeffrey O. G. Ogbar’s research interests include the 20th century United States with a focus in African American history. More specifically, Dr. Ogbar studies black nationalism and radical social protest. He has developed courses, lectured and published articles on subjects as varied as Pan-Africanism, African American Catholics, civil rights struggles, black nationalism and hip-hop. Prof. Ogbar has held fellowships at Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research, where he completed work on his book, Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity. He also held fellowships at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City, and the Africana studies program at the University of Miami where he conducted research for his book Hip-Hop Revolution: The Culture and Politics of Rap. His latest book is an edited volume, The Harlem Renaissance Revisited: Politics, Arts and Letters.

Along with research and teaching, Dr. Ogbar has enjoyed his role as the advisor to numerous student organizations, as well as working in various community service projects. 

The Salon will begin at 5:30 PM with a social half-hour and the conversation will start at 6:00 PM. What do you plan to ask the featured guests? Let us know in the comments below! 

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading This Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

Terror lynching in America
Equal Justice Initiative with illustrations by Molly Crabapple, October 11, 2016

Indian resistance and Thanksgiving declarations
November 17, 2014, Howardzinn.com

Rethinking history class on Columbus Day

Melinda Anderson, October 12, 2015, The Atlantic

Abolish Columbus Day resources and tools
October 2016, Zinn Education Project 

Racist objects: A painful past still present
Logan Jaffe, October 6, 2016, The New York Times

What are you reading this week? Let us know in the comments below!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading This Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

From slavery to mass incarceration, Ava Duvernay’s film “13th” examines racist U.S. Justice System
October 3, 2016, Democracy Now!

Hear something, say something: Navigating the world of racial awkwardness
Code Switch Podcast, September 28, 2016, NPR

Who gets to write what?
Kaitlyn Greenidge, September 24, 2016, The New York Times http://nyti.ms/2cU86aK 

Enrollment surges at historically Black colleges amid rise in racial tensions
Valerie Strauss, September 11, 2016, The Washington Post

What is on your reading list this week? What do resources do you use to stay informed and engaged? Share below! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

#SalonbyStowe: Food Justice at the West End Farmer's Market

Join us tonight for a Salon on food justice at the West End Farmer's Market!  

What is food justice? How can we challenge inequities in our food system? How does food access connect to other social justice issues? What can you do to take action? 

The Salon will be held at Clemens Green from 5:30-6:30 PM. Free and open to all! 

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading This Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week! 

Election 2016-Civic Activities
Teaching Tolerance, 2016

Talking to kids about protesting: 5 things I want my kids to know
Adelaid Lancaster, September 22, 2016, We Stories

Children’s books that tackle race and ethnicity
Maria Russo, September 23, 2016, The New York Time

On hashtags and fleeting white outrage
Shannon Coffrin Gaggero, September 24, 2016, Medium

What is on your reading list this week? Share below! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

#SalonatStowe: Meet the Featured Guests

Join us tonight for our first Salon at Stowe of the season: Separate and Unequal: How do We Achieve Equity in Education?

Speaking on the issues, will be José A. Colón of Hartford Public High School, Robert Cotto of Trinity College and the Hartford Board of Education, and Kate Busch Gervais of the Discovery Center.

José A. Colón is a school administrator in the Hartford Public Schools.  He currently serves the as Principal of the Law and Government Academy at Hartford Public High School.  He is a native of Hartford and a proud graduate of the Hartford Public School System.  Mr. Colón received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Relations from the University of Connecticut, a Masters Degree in Secondary Education from Eastern Connecticut State University and a post master’s degree from Sacred Heart University in School Administration.  

Prior to his work in the Hartford School System, Mr. Colón served the Town of West Hartford as the Co-Director of the Youth Service Bureau through his work at the Bridge Family Center.  In West Hartford he worked closely with the school system and other departments in town to deliver high quality prevention and intervention programs and services to youth and teens. 

Mr. Colón is married to Ms. Vivian Luna-Colón who is also a lifelong educator and they have an amazing daughter Samantha, a senior at the Medical Professions and Teacher Preparation Academy.

Robert Cotto, Jr. is the Director of Urban Education Initiatives at Trinity College. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in sociology and he has a Master’s degree in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and from Trinity College in American Studies. Before coming to Trinity, Robert was a K-12 educational researcher and teacher. 
He believes that teaching and learning should be connected to each student’s interests, the communities related to our study, and the scholars that have come before us. He has worked with students at various levels in the Hartford area to develop their academic interests, abilities, and skills. 

His academic work focuses on K-12 education policy. His past and present research focuses on educational reform movements in the U.S. and Puerto Rico that offer educational improvement, yet often reinforce inequality or are subverted by existing social policy. In particular, he studies the history and current impact of educational testing, school choice, and teacher-led innovation, and management policies, particularly with respect to marginalized and racialized groups. 

Kate has been the Executive Director of The Discovery Center since July, 2015. The Discovery Center is a nonprofit educational social change organization works in partnership with youth, families, schools and communities to facilitate nurturing spaces where people can challenge systemic racism and oppression. Kate’s experience includes more than three decades in social justice, community engagement and entrepreneurship. 

Kate previously managed the grassroots outreach for the launch of the Affordable Care Act for Access Health Connecticut and the Office of the CT Healthcare Advocate by working with more than 250 community organizations, state agencies and individuals to reach underserved individuals and communities with services in 33 languages. More than 35,000 were enrolled through this effort, which was highlighted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the Texas Health Institute and the Yale School of Public Health as a highly-effective, respectful program. She was Senior Program and Development Officer for Universal Health Care Foundation where she developed the Small Business Health Care Network, focused on small and businesses owned by people of color. This program engaged more than 1,000 small business owners and leaders in advocating for their needs on a statewide and national state. 

What will you ask the featured guests? Let us know in the comments below and join us tonight! 5:30 PM social half-hour, 6:00 PM discussion, all at the Stowe Center! 


#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading This Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

Another day, another hashtag: White people, you gotta get to work now
Awesomely Luvvie September 21, 2016, Awesomely Luvvie

It’s time to get over your feelings and take action for Black lives
Ann Friedman, August 3, 2016, New York Magazine

Throwing the rock and hiding your hand: White women and a revisiting of intersectionality
Jameelah Jones, September 21, 2016, Medium

Why are cops OK with killing black people? Because American history teaches that we aren’t fully human
D. Watkins, September 21, 2016, Salon

In conversation: Ava Duvernay
Rebecca Traister, September 2016, New York Magazine

What are you reading this week? Share in the comments below! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading This Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

Making a home for Black History
Vinson Cunnigham, August 29, 2016, The New Yorker

Nat Turner’s insurrection
Thomas Wentworth Higgins, 1861 issue of The Atlantic

Justice Department says it will end the use of private prisons
Matt Zapotosky and Chico Harlan, August 18, 2016, The Washington Post

Using Reconstruction to understand today’s racial tensions
Andrew Reese, July 28, 2016, Facing Today

What are you reading this week? Share in the comments below! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#SalonatLunch: Race, Gender and the Olympics

Join us for another Salon at Lunch!

From history making moments, including Simone Manuel becoming the first Black woman to win gold in swimming and the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team winning by the highest margin in the sport’s history, to head-shaking moments like swimmer Katie Ledecky being referred to as the “female Michael Phelps,” issues of race and gender are ever-present at the Olympics. How do issues of race and gender intersect and impact the Olympics? How does racism and sexism influence coverage of Olympic athletes?

Check out these articles below for background reading:  

NBC's coverage of the Olympics is atrocious. There's a simple reason why
Todd VanderWerff, August 12, 2016, Vox

Rio Olympics: Simone Manuel makes history in the pool
Karen Crouse, August 12, 2016, The New York Times

American Simone Manuel speaks out on police brutality, race after earning Olympic gold

The media are saying and doing a bunch of sexist stuff during the Olympics
Lee Moran, August 8, 2016, Huffington Post

Join us from 12:00-1:00 PM today! Bring your lunch, ideas, and opinions!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

Rep. Lewis’s new book ‘March: Book Three’ rises to the historic occasion
Michael Cavna, August 3, 2016, The Washington Post

Constance Wu on Hollywood’s white savior problem: ‘Our heroes don’t look like Matt Damon’
Jaleesa M. Jones, July 29, 2016, USA Today
The tyranny of the traffic ticket: How small crimes turn fatal for poor, minority Americans
German Lopez, August 5, 2016, Vox

U.S. police body cameras put civil rights at risk: study

Gina Cherelus, August 2, 2016, Reuters

The permanence of Black Lives Matter
Vann R. Newkirk II, August 3, 2016, The Atlantic

What are you reading this week? Share in the comments below! 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

#SalonatLunch: Why Are We Reluctant to Address Slavery?

Join us, for another Salon at Lunch! This week we are tackling the question, "why are we reluctant to address slavery?"

At last week's Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama addressed the history of the White House stating, “I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.”

Several commentators took issue with the statement and some even rebutted that those who built the White House were “treated well.” Conversation about the reality and misconceptions of slavery has since ensued.

Join the conversation at this free event: Why do we have difficulty addressing history? Why are there so many misconceptions about slavery? How can we best understand history and its connections to present injustices? 

Chekc out these articles below for background reading: 

Michelle Obama’s Speech and the powerful realities of American Slavery
Kirt von Daacke, July 28, 2016, NBC BLK

What Bill O’Reilly doesn’t understand about slavery

Rebecca Onion, July 28, 2016, Slate

Teaching slavery to reluctant listeners
Edward Baptist, September 11, 2015, The New York Times

Salons at Lunch are every Wednesday at noon. Free and open to the public. 

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

Michelle Obama’s Speech and the powerful realities of American Slavery
Kirt von Daacke, July 28, 2016, NBC BLK

What Bill O’Reilly doesn’t understand about slavery
Rebecca Onion, July 28, 2016, Slate

Teaching slavery to reluctant listeners

Edward Baptist, September 11, 2015, The New York Times

The grief that white Americans can’t share
Nikole Hannah-Jones, July 22, 2016, The New York Times Magazine

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#SalonatLunch: Talking to Kids about Race and Racism

Join us at noon for another Salon at Lunch! This week we are talking about how to talk to young people about race and racism. Check out these links below and join us at the Stowe Center or online via the hashtag #SalonatLunch for the conversation!

Raising race conscious children

When did you realize your race?
Franchesca Ramsey, July 20, 2016, MTV’s Decoded

“That’s Not Fair!” — Teaching Young Children About Race And Racism, Respect And Diversity
Alan Singer, July 18, 2016, The Huffington Post

Salons at Lunch are every Wednesday at noon at the Stowe Center. Join us as we talk about current events and social justice issues! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

#SalonatStowe: Meet the featured guests!

Tonight, the Stowe Center will present a hands-on, interactive workshop entitled "Unpacking White Privilege." The workshop will be feature Troy Brown, Meghan Korn, and Isabel Alvarez of the Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division.

Meet the facilitators below!

Troy Brown, Manager of the Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Service Division

Troy Brown is the Manager of the Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Service Division (CSSD) Training Academy and the CSSD Multicultural Affairs Unit. Born and raised in Hartford, to Jamaican parents, Troy’s bicultural skills set the stage for his passion and work in diversity and cultural responsiveness.

Troy is the co-developer and trainer of the Connecticut Judicial Branch’s Foundation in Cultural Responsiveness (FCR) 100 and co-developer of a Train the Trainer program for new FCR 100 trainers. 

Meghan Korn, Juvenile Probation Officer II at the Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Service Division 

Meghan Korn serves as a Juvenile Probation Officer II with the Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division (CSSD). She is assigned to the CSSD Training Academy as the Multicultural Affairs Unit Field Office Representative where she conducts training and develops curriculum.

Meghan graduated from Skidmore College with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She received her M.Ed. in mental health counseling (with a concentration in forensic mental health counseling) from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She also received a Forensic Services Certificate from the University of Massachusetts in Boston. Her graduate work included a focus on providing culturally responsive clinical care.

Isabel Alvarez, Court Planner for the Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Service Division

Isabel Alvarez Galeano is a Court Planner for the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch Court Support Service Division (CSSD) Multicultural Affairs Unit. She earned a Master of Business Administration Degree for Emerging Leaders from the University of New Haven, a Law Degree from Saint Thomas University, Colombia.  

Born and raised in Colombia, South America and relocated to the United States since April 2011. She is bilingual and bicultural. Isabel is a co-facilitator of the Connecticut Judicial Branch’s training Foundation in Cultural Responsiveness (FCR 100) and the Color of Justice Forum. Ms. Alvarez plans and facilitates workshops and cultural events to recognize different cultures. 

When you hear 'white privilege' what do you think about? How does 'privilege' impact our lives? In what others ways, besides race, can individuals occupy 'privilege'? 

Please note that today's workshop is at capacity. The Stowe Center is working to plan a second workshop and if you are interested in attending please contact info@stowecenter.org or (860) 522-9258 ext. 317. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

#SalonatLunch: #BlackLivesMatter vs. #AllLivesMatter

Join us for another installment of Salons at Lunch!

#BlackLivesMatter began in 2012 after the acquittal of George Zimmerman. The hashtag and movement have grown, and Black Lives Matter is a call to action against anti-Black racism in the U.S.

When hearing or reading #BlackLivesMatter, many respond with #AllLivesMatter. Why do you think some people respond in this way? Does All Lives Matter erase the purpose and meaning of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter and its accompanying movement?

Check out these links for background reading.

Why 'All Lives Matter' is a perilous phrase
Daniel Victor, July 15, 2016, The New York Times

When you're accustomed to privilege, equality feels like oppression Chris Boeskool, March 14, 2016, Huffington Post 

Salons at Lunch are every Wednesday at noon for July and August. Engage with others on current events and contemporary issues! We look forward to seeing you! 

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

How America bought and sold racism, and why it still matters
Lisa Hix, November 10, 2015, Collector’s Weekly

Honoring the police and their victims
Jelani Cobb, July 18, 2016, The New Yorker

The intersectional woman’s reading list
Doree Shafrir, July 18, 2016, Buzzfeed

How you can help students see other viewpoints

Nelson Graves, July 11, 2016, Facing Today

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

#SalonatLunch: Staying Committed to Positive Change

Join us for our second Salon at Lunch of the summer! After a difficult week, we will be discussing how to stay committed to positive change. How do we stay committed to social justice? How do we care for ourselves and others in difficult times?

Kathy Christianson of the Anti-Defamation League and The Discovery Center, will help facilitate the conversation and led attendees in a discussion on how to remain committed to justice and positive change.

Check out these links below for background reading in advance of the program.

5 Self Care Tips for Activists Kim Tran, Everyday Feminism

The Optimism of Uncertainty
, by Howard Zinn, The Nation 

How do you stay committed to positive change? Come to the Salon and share your thoughts or comment below! Stowe Salons at Lunch are held every Wednesday at noon at the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center. 

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

Race, truth and our two realities
Chris Lebron, July 11, 2016, The New York Times

My revolutionary suicide note
Melissa Harris-Perry, July 8, 2016, Anna Julia Cooper Center

Policing the police

Jelani Cobb and PBS Frontline, June 28, 2016, PBS

EduColor: Having the deeper conversations online

José Vilson, June 8, 2016, EduTopia

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

#SalonatLunch: Race in Pop Culture

Our summer Salons at Lunch series is starting again! Join us every Wednesday at noon for dialogue and debate on current events and social justice issues.

This Wednesday, July 6th, we will be discussing "Race in Pop Culture." Join us as we watch actor Jesse Williams's BET Humanitarian Award speech and discuss the content and reaction to the speech.

Salons at Lunch will be held every Wednesday at noon for the months of July and August. Salons will be held in the Harriet Beecher Stowe house parlor-a once in a lifetime opportunity to discuss current events in the same space in which Harriet Beecher Stowe did. Salons at Lunch are free and open to the public.

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

Justin Timberlake on Jesse Williams's BET speech wasn't woke, just white

Rebecca Carroll, June 27, 2016, The Guardian

Academy invites 683 new members in push for diversity
Alex Stedman, June 29, 2016, Variety

My four months as a private prison guard
Shane Bauer, July 2016, Mother Jones

Marine title becomes ‘gender neutral’
Charlie McKenna, June 28, 2016, MRCTV

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

Where is the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of gun control?
Rebecca Onion, June 20, 2016, Slate

Why is Juneteenth such an important holiday?
AJ+, June, 19, 2015

A global policing crisis: Question and answer with the editors of “Policing the Planet”

Aaron Cantú, June 17, 2016, The Washington Spectator

A year after Charleston, we still need to cure what ails America
Bree Newsome, June 17, 2016, Fusion

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

What gun control advocates can learn from abolitionists
Rebecca Onion, June 14, 2016, Slate http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2016/06/what_gun_control_advocates_can_learn_from_the_abolitionists_who_helped_end.html

The long, tragic history of violence at LGBTQ bars across America
Mark Joseph Stern, June 12, 2016, Slate

Murphy, Blumenthal lead Senate filibuster in push for gun control debate
Russell Blair, June 15, 2016, The Hartford Courant 

White crime: On race, crime, and Brock Turner
Roxane Gay, June 15, 2016, Lenny Letter

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Inspiration to Action Fair and Real Stories of Social Change: Today!

Today is the Student Stowe Prize! College winner Martese Johnson and high school winner Nina Sachs will be awarded for excellence in social justice writing.

Join community activists and local organizations at the Inspiration to Action Fair from 3:00-4:00 PM at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford. Featured organizations include The Discovery Center, Grow Hartford Youth Program, CT Old State House, CT River Academy, and more!

Following the fair, hear from the winners and keynote speaker Andrew Aydin, co-author of the graphic novel March at Real Stories of Social Change. Real Stories of Social Change will be held from 4:00-5:30 PM at Immanuel Congregational Church.

See you there!

#StowePrize Syllabus

Today is the Student Stowe Prize! College winner Martese Johnson and high school winner Nina Sachs will be awarded for excellence in social justice writing. Meet and network with the winners and fellow community activists from 3:00-4:00 PM at the Inspiration to Action Fair, and hear from the winners and keynote speaker Andrew Aydin at Real Stories of Social Change. Both events are free to the public and held at Immanuel Congregational Church.

Learn more about the topics of the student winners below!

Reflections after a trending hashtag-Criminal justice and the events on March 18, 2015 
Martese Johnson, October 14, 2015, Vanity Fair 

Empowering women, period. 
Nina Sachs, January 2016, Teen Ink 

John Lewis’ Graphic Novel to Be Taught in NYC Public Schools
Angela Bronner Helm, March 15, 2016, The Root 

The rise of law enforcement on college campuses 
Melinda D. Anderson, September 28, 2015, The Atlantic 

The paranoid style of American policing 
Ta-Nehisi Coates, December 30, 2015, The Atlantic 

The matter of Black lives 
Jelani Cobb, March 14, 2016, The New Yorker 

New York City public schools to offer free tampons to students 
Michelle Broder Van Dyke, March 14, 2016, Buzzfeed News

For homeless women, getting their period is one of the most difficult challenges 
Eleanor Goldberg, January 15, 2015, HuffPost Impact

A taboo-free way to talk about periods 
Aditi Gupta, May 2015, TED 

Monday, May 9, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week! 

A new way to map the spread and decline of slavery in the U.S.
Tanvi Misra, April 27, 2016, CityLab

Civil-rights laws don’t always stop racism
Calvin Schermmerhorn, May 8, 2016, The Atlantic

The Black Panther may have his roots in a 15th century African Kingdom
Winona Dimeo-Ediger, May 7, 2016, NPR Goats and Soda

How Americans became so sensitive to harm
Conor Friedersdorf, April 19, 2016, The Atlantic

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

#SalonatStowe: Meet the Featured Guests

This Thursday, join us for our latest Salon at Stowe: Combatting Environmental Racism.

Rev. Steve Camp

Senior Pastor, Faith Congregational Church
Rev. Steve Camp is the Senior Pastor at Faith Congregational Church in Hartford. He has served there since 2009. Born and raised in the Hartford area, he grew up in Faith Congregational Church. He graduated from Bethune-Cookman College and Chicago Theological Seminary. He has served congregations in Ohio and in the Southern Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Rev. Camp has been a member of the Executive Council of the United Church of Christ, the Council of Conference Ministers, and the Cornerstone Fund (the UCC banking entity) of the national setting of the United Church of Christ. He is also an active part of the Ministers for Racial, Social and Economic Justice (MRSEJ) and the UCC United Black Christians. Rev. Camp recently returned from a trip to Flint, Michigan, where he investigated and brought relief to those impacted by the water crisi.

Rev. Kari Nicewander

Senior Pastor, Immanuel Congregational Church
Rev. Kari Nicewander is the Senior Pastor at Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford. She has served there since 2015. Kari grew up in Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan and Harvard Divinity School. She has served congregations in Michigan and Massachusetts and prior to coming to Hartford, served in a ministry in Zambia. She is married to Joel DeJong and they have two children. With Rev. Camp, Rev. Nicewander has also recently returned from Flint.

Sharon Lewis

Sharon Lewis is the Executive Director of the CT Coalition for Environmental Justice. She is committed to working for environmental justice in Hartford and in the state of CT. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and worked for corporate America in the reinsurance and insurance industry for seventeen years. In the 1990's she left a lucrative career in the reinsurance industry  to become a social activist in the environmental justice movement fighting for the rights of low income and communities of color to be free from pollution and to have equal access to the decision making process with regard to environmental policies. 

The Salon will begin at 5:30 pm is the Stowe Center Visitor Center. What questions will you ask the featured guests? Share in the comments below!

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Current events and articles that got us thinking over the week!

272 slaves were sold to save Georgetown. What does it owe to their descendants?
Rachel L. Swarns, April 16, 2016, The New York Times

The secret history of the photo at the center of the Black Confederate myth
Adam Serwer, April17, 2016, BuzzFeed

Was Harriet Beecher Stowe an abolitionist?
Manisha Sinha, April 14, 2016, We’re History

Working class heroes
Jelani Cobb, April 25, 2016, The New Yorker

Friday, April 15, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

We need a decolonized not a “diverse” education
Zoé Samudzi, March 29, 2016, The Harlot

Art as resistance, part 1
Jamilah Pitts, March 17, 2016, Teaching Tolerance

Art as resistance, part 2
Jamilah Pitts, April 12, 2016, Teaching Tolerance

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

#SalonatStowe: Meet the Featured Guests

Join us this evening for Student Activists Speak Out, a Salon at Stowe on the power and significance of student activism. Featured guests for the program include Tony Roy, social studies teacher from CT River Academy and three student activists from CT River Academy.

Check out these links below for background reading on student activism:

Student Activism is Serious Business
Roxane Gay, November 11, 2015, The New Republic

The Other Student Activists
Melinda D. Anderson, November 23, 2015, The Atlantic

What will you ask the featured guests? Are you a student activist or activist yourself? Share your thoughts in the comments below and attend the Salon this evening! The Salon will begin at 5:30 pm in the Stowe Center Visitor Center.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Having Their Say at the Stowe Center with Hartford Stage

Today, at 12:00 pm the Stowe Center welcomes the actors and director of Hartford Stage's latest performance, Having Our Say.

Synopsis of Having Our Say:
103-year-old Sadie Delany and 101-year-old Bessie Delany were the daughters of a former slave, grew up in the Jim Crow South, lived in Harlem during its renaissance, and had professional careers as a teacher and a dentist, respectively. While they make dinner to remember their father’s birthday, the two sisters tell us the story of the last century, as they lived it. History at its most immediate, and poignant.

In addition to the performance, Hartford Stage created an ancillary project called Having Their Say: Generations in Conversation. The project is an oral history designed to preserve past stories through interviews. Hartford Stage gathered a group of local African-American female students to partner with 10 African-American women over the age of 70 to present an intergenerational dialogue.

The program will feature lead actors Olivia Cole and Brenda Pressley, director Jade King Carroll, and  Hartford Stage Artistic Director Fiona Kyle. Videos of the interviews will be featured during the program.

What do you think we can learn from intergenerational conversation? How can learning about the lives of those older than us, impact our understanding of today? What power does oral history hold? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and share your questions at the program! 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

#SalonatStowe: Gender Bias in Juvenile Justice

Join the Stowe Center tonight, for our Salon at Stowe program: Gender Bias in Juvenile Justice. Featured guests Mallory LaPierre of the Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance and Kimball Robbins of the Court Support Services Division.

Meet the featured guests below!

Mallory LaPierre
Policy Associate at Connecticut Juvenile Justice Alliance

Mallory LaPierre joined the Alliance in November of 2012. Before joining the Alliance, Mallory managed a successful reelection campaign for a Connecticut state representative. As a campaign coordinator, Mallory was responsible for organizing and running the day-to-day operation. Prior to her campaign work, she was an intern with the Appropriations Committee of the Connecticut General Assembly. Mallory graduated with high honors from Salve Regina University and holds her BA in Administration of Justice.

Kimball Robbins 
Regional Manager of Juvenile Probation and Gender Responsive Probation Supervisor at Court Support Services Division

Kimball Robbins is the Regional Manager of Juvenile Probation and the Gender Responsive Probation Supervisor at Court Support Services Division. She works within the Juvenile Probation Services Division within the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. 

Girls are the fastest growing demographic in the juvenile justice system. What are the unique challenges that girls face in the juvenile justice system? How does the intersection of gender and race impact young women of color in the juvenile justice system? Can those outside the justice system make a difference? 

What questions will you ask the featured guests? Come to the Salon to learn more!  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

What it’s really like to work in Hollywood. (If you’re not a straight white man)
Melena Ryzik, February 24, 2016, The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/02/24/arts/hollywood-diversity-inclusion.html

The matter of black lives
Jelani Cobb, March 7, 2016, The New Yorker

A big win for same-sex adoption at the Supreme Court
Dahlia Lithwick, March 7, 2016, Slate

Drop tax on feminine products, diapers
Susan Campbell, March 5, 2016, The Hartford Courant

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below!

Happy #InternationalWomensDay! What will you do?

March 8th marks International Women's Day, a celebration of the contributions of women worldwide and a call to action to achieve gender equity. Originally conceived as International Working Women's Day to highlight the struggles of working class women, International Women's Day serves to draw attention to the issues of women on a broad, global scale.

This year, International Women's Day organizers are asking supporters to "Take the Pledge for Parity" and commit to actions to achieve gender equity. Action items include pledging to check unconscious bias, to create inclusive communities, and to empower young girls. Check out the pledge here and commit to action today!    

What did you do to recognize International Women's Day? What women of history inspire you? How will you work to achieve gender equity today? Let us know in the comments below! 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Celebrate #ReadAcrossAmerica Day!

March 2nd marks Read Across America Day, a celebration of the power of books and language. The day coincides with the birthday of the famous children's author, Dr. Seuss.

We at the Stowe Center will be taking part in Read Across America Day, by highlighting the impact of one of our favorite books Uncle Tom's Cabin. Written by Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1852, Uncle Tom's Cabin galvanized readers across the United States to get involved in the fight against slavery. Today, the book provides a platform for critical conversations on slavery, representation, and the continued fight for racial justice. Beyond Uncle Tom's Cabin, there are many other books that inspire readers to take action on issues of justice. Books like 12 Years a Slave, The Fire Next Time, Beloved, and even The Lorax all contribute to important conversations and action around social justice.

What is your favorite book? What book has made you change your mind on an issue or inspired you to act? Take the pledge to Read Across America and let us know how you will be celebrating in the comments!  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

5 Questions on Race for #BlackHistoryMonth by @SitesConscience

In recognition of Black History Month, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center participated in a question series on racial justice sponsored by The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. The Coalition is a collective of museums, institutions, and memorials that connect the past to the present in order to inform contemporary work towards justice. For Black History Month, The Coalition highlighted five member sites by featuring a question from each site on black history, race, or the fight towards racial justice.

Below is the question submitted by the Stowe Center:
Racism is often interpreted as one individual acting with prejudice towards another individual on the basis of race. But history teaches us that racism is not only individual, but also institutional. Racism is built into the foundation of the United States from the early days of colonization and slavery. Today, it operates in education, policing, health care, housing and even food policy. When defining racism, why do many people ignore institutional racism? How can you challenge institutional racism today?

The other featured sites included the Missouri History Museum, the National Civil Rights Museum, America's Black Holocaust Museum, and the Pauli Murray Project.

How would you answer the question? Why do you think we chose to ask this particular question? What question would you ask? Check out the questions asked my the other institutions and share your reactions in the comments below! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week! 

Hartford’s Citizens of Color, 1863-1890: Black society after the Civil War
February 18, 2016, Beautifully Inspired Women’s Magazine

Who’s responsible for mass incarceration?
Josie Helen, February 15, 2016, Seven Scribes

What does the Academy value in a black performance?
Brandon K. Thorp, February 19, 2016, The New York Times

The power of the prosecutor: Adam Foss speaks at TED2016 on the key to changing the criminal justice system
Kate Torgovnick May, February 18, 2016, TED

A quick summary of why only white people want to make America “great” again
Ben Mathis-Lilley, February 22,2106, Slate

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Salons at Stowe: Meet the Featured Guests

Join the Stowe Center for the first Salon at Stowe of 2016! This evening, featured guests Iran Nazario and Mike Lawlor will lead a discussion on Criminal Justice Reform in Connecticut. Learn more about the guests below!

Mike Lawlor, CT Under Secretary for Criminal Justice Policy and Planning and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice in the Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences at the University of New Haven.

Mike Lawlor served twelve terms as a member of the Connecticut House of Representatives representing his hometown of East Haven. As chairman of the Judiciary Committee from 1995-2011, Lawlor played a key role in passing two amendments to Connecticut's constitution, the first established explicit rights for victims of crime, and the second eliminated the patronage-ridden and corrupt county sheriff system.

Lawlor also helped to enact a number of workable gun control laws, rewrite and toughen the state's domestic violence laws, reformed the juvenile justice system, addressed racial disparities in the criminal justice system, passed laws ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and addressed recidivism and prison overcrowding. He also played a key role is establishing and now modernizing Connecticut’s Sex Offender Registry. 

Iran Nazario, COMPASS Peacebuilders & Community Outreach Director, COMPASS Youth Collaborative.

Iran Nazario has worked in gang prevention, violence mediation, youth engagement and program management for 24 years, beginning as a volunteer on the streets of Hartford. As Director of COMPASS Peacebuilders, he leads a team of 16 men and women whose goal is to decrease the level of youth violence throughout the city. Since the program began, COMPASS Peacebuilders has served over 3,000 youth with a success rate of more than 80%. 

What do you plan to ask the featured guests? How can CT be a leader in criminal justice reform? Join the Stowe Center for the first Salon at Stowe of 2016. The program will begin at 5:30 pm in the Stowe Visitor Center. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

#StoweSyllabus: What We're Reading this Week

Articles and current events that got us thinking over the week!

Connecticut’s second-chance society

The New York Times Editorial Board, January 4, 2016, The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/opinion/connecticuts-second-chance-society.html?smid=tw-nytopinion&smtyp=cur&_r=0  

How to end homelessness in New York City
Alana Semuels, January 4, 2016, The Atlantic

Why aren't we calling the Oregon occupiers 'terrorists'? 
Janell Ross, January 3, 2016, The Washington Post

America’s real racial double standard: How the law — and white people — turn “race-neutral” into “pro-white”
Brittney Cooper, January 2, 2016, Salon

What are your reactions to the pieces? What articles, news pieces, or video-clips have you come across over the week? Let us know, below!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Celebrate #MLK Jr. Day at the Stowe Center

On January 18th, the Stowe Center will open for free tours in honor of MLK Jr. Day. Come by and learn about Harriet Beecher Stowe, MLK Jr., and the ways in which their work connects today. Participate in our bell ringing for peace at noon and stick around for a Salon at Lunch on MLK Jr.'s "The Beloved Community."

Honor MLK Jr. with the Stowe Center on January 18th! The Stowe Center will be open for free tours, activities, and a Salon program from 9:30 am-5:00 pm.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Understanding Identity in #2016

New York Times Critic at Large, Wesley Morris, labels 2015 as the "year we obsessed over identity." Morris writes:

[We are] in the midst of a great cultural identity migration. Gender roles are merging. Races are being shed. In the last six years or so, but especially in 2015, we’ve been made to see how trans and bi and poly-ambi-omni- we are.  

Morris cites certain cultural examples like Lin Manuel-Miranda's race-flipped historical-musical Hamilton, the success of Transparent, a show focused on a transgender woman and her family, and Amy Schumer's feminist comedy, where she bends conceptions of womanhood, sex, and femininity, as examples of the ways in which our traditional conceptions of identity are shifting. There are, of course, critics of this new age of identity, who express fear that a change in identity politics will contribute to the demise of traditional values. Morris places Presidential Donald Trump in the center of this criticism, arguing that his campaign is built around fear over impending changes to traditional social order. Morris ultimately writes that these transitions in identity "should make us stronger" unless "they kill us first." 

As 2016 begins, how do you think identity will shape and inform the events of the year? We will be equally "obsessed" as in 2015? When Morris writes that our new understandings of identity will "make us stronger" what do you think he means? Let us know in the comments, below.    


Saturday, January 2, 2016

Protests Continue in Fight for #JusticeforTamir

On December 28, 2015 a Cleveland grand jury declined to indict Officer Timothy Loehmann and Officer Frank Garmback in the death of 12 year-old Tamir Rice. Rice was killed last November when his toy gun was mistaken for a real weapon by police.

As a result of the non-indicitment, protesters are demanding that Cuyahoga County prosecutor, Tim McGinty, who oversaw the grand jury, resign. Activists have been protesting outside of McGinty's home and even staged a die-in to call for justice for Tamir.  

The non-indictment is just the latest in a string of non-indictments for Officers involved in civilian deaths. Some states are taking action by reforming the ways in which police officers involved in civilian killings enter the justice system. The state of California, for example, has banned the use of grand juries for police shooting cases. Critics of the grand jury system, say the process is clouded in secrecy, and for cases of alleged police brutality, transparency beyond that of which a grand jury will provide, is necessary.

What do you think of the protests? What solutions do you have over issues of policing? Do you see examples of positive change on the issue of policing? Let us know in the comments below. For more resources and analysis on the killing of Tamir Rice and the historical and political context in which his death occurred, check out Jelani Cobb's latest piece in The New Yorker, "Tamir Rice and America's Tradegy", and our Salon at Stowe recap on Has Racial Justice Reached the Tipping Point?


Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New Goals: Social Justice Predictions for #2016

And while we looked back in yesterday's blog post, today, the first day of the New Year, is all about looking forward. The proverbial slate that is 2016 is clean and awaiting our ideas, actions, and predictions. So what will 2016 bring? Stowe Prize winner and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof released an online quiz on what the upcoming year might entail. What will happen with the U.S. Presidential Race? Will the refugee crisis be ameliorated? How will the Black Lives Matter movement grow? Take the quiz and share your opinions! 

How did you do on the quiz? Do you agree/disagree with Kristof's opinions? What do you predict will happen in 2016? How can we work together to ensure justice for all? Let us know in the comments! 

Be sure to keep up to date with all of the Stowe Center's programs and offerings in the New Year. It is sure to be a year filled with education, dialogue, engagement, and action. Maybe even positive change, too. Happy 2016!