Thus far in 2022, 24 states throughout the country have put forward legislation to limit how history is taught in public schools. Dozens of other states, municipalities, and local school districts, including several in Connecticut, have challenged the inclusion of some books in educational curricula and on library shelves. According to Adam Gabbatt reporting in The Guardian in April 2022, “Challenges to books, specifically books by non-white male authors, are happening at the highest rates we’ve ever seen. What is happening in this country in terms of banning books in schools is unparalleled in its frequency, intensity and success, and it is targeting race, racism, and LGBTQ+ books directly.”
In this four-part Salon series, the Stowe Center invites thoughtful conversation from a range of viewpoints about the right of intellectual freedom, the question of whose words and voices are included in public education, and how, when, and by whom such determinations are made. What books are banned? What is Critical Race Theory? What history and whose experiences are deemed unacceptable to learn about? What role do government, law, and activists play in such decisions?
Our first Salon of the series features Dr. Alexandra Freidus, who teaches in the Neag School of Education at UConn and whose research interests include school integration, youth organizing, and diverse classrooms. Dr. Freidus will be joined by Paquita Jarman-Smith, who works with the State Education Research Center (SERC) on the development of Black and Latinx curriculum for CT high schools, and Sam Lee, Head of Reference Services at the Enfield Public Library and the Chair of the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the CT Library Association. The active participation of all Salon attendees is enthusiastically encouraged!
Registration for the June Salon is open.
To register for subsequent Salons, choose a date below: