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 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!