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 October Salon features Vonetta Lightfoot, Multicultural Affairs Operations Manager at Springfield Technical Community College, and Antoinette Brim-Bell, professor of English and contributor to the Hartford Black Heritage Project at Capital Community College, as they share their own experiences with and concerns about anti-Critical Race Theory legislation and contemporary book-banning efforts on community college campuses. They will be joined by Christine Emeran, director of the Youth Free Expression Program at the National Coalition Against Censorship and the creator of the Youth Censorship Database. As always, the active participation of all Salon attendees is enthusiastically encouraged!
Registration for the October Salon is open.
Registration for the November 10 Salon is also open.
Thank you to the George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Co-Trustee, for helping to make this program possible.