Can heritage inspire to social justice and positive change?

Harriet Beecher Stowe Center as an example.
Katherine Kane, Executive Director, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
Formidlingsseminar, 28.3.2012, kl. 9.30 – 10.15

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s best known book, the bestselling Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852), had international impact from Russia to China, and changed American attitudes about slavery, helping make the u.S. Civil War and emancipation possible. The book’s afterlife, adapted as a frequently per­formed play, created the racial stereotype “uncle Tom.” Given the obliga­tions and challenges of this history, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center uses Stowe’s story and impact to inspire social justice and positive change, presenting programs about contemporary issues. At the site of Stowe’s final home, where she lived for 23 years, the Center is both a local history site in the state of Connecticut, and an international tourist site. This pres­entation will describe the Center’s philosophy, programs and techniques.
The united States was founded on goals of equality and freedom and the Stowe Center’s programs encourage people to work together to meet those goals. House tours use Stowe’s story to connect with the lives of the visitors and provoke conversation. Programs for children ask them to think about issues they would like to solve and how they would go about
it. For adults, Salons at Stowe is a regular conversation­based program on a current topic such as human trafficking, women in politics, or racial stereotyping

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