Declaring Freedom, Day 3

Friday, March 15

Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, CT

The America 250 | CT Commission will be hosting the Declaring Freedom Conference in collaboration with the Connecticut Council for the Social Studies (days 1 & 2) and the Association for the Study of Connecticut History (day 4).

Day 3 will be dedicated to introducing the mission and the vision of the commission to a broader audience and engaging in meaningful conversation about the America 250 | CT themes. We hope participants will leave invigorated to continue these conversations with others in their community.

Registration is required.


9:00 AM – Governor Keynote and Commission Introduction

  • Introduction, Hon. Denise Merrill
  • Keynote Address, Governor Ned Lamont
  • Overview of Declaring Freedom Conference, Matt Warshauer
  • America 250 | CT Mission and Vision, Hon. Denise Merrill
  • Commission Resources Available and Forthcoming, Cyndi Tolosa

10:00 AM – Break

10:15 AM – Panel Discussion: Hidden in Plain Sight: Telling Inclusive Stories
Moderated by Frank Mitchell, Ph.D., Author and Consultant

  • How can we best tell stories about all of the people who have contributed to our Nation, especially those in and from Connecticut?
  • How do we make sure no one’s stories are omitted?
  • What is gained when we create space for more inclusive storytelling about our history as a nation? 

11:15 AM – Panel Discussion: Sacred Ground: Our History & the Power of Place
Moderator to be announced

  • How does place shape our understanding of history?
  • How can we better understand and unpack places with a layered history?
  • How does erasure distort our understanding of history and historical sites?

12:15 PM – Lunch Break

  • Lunch will be provided. Please indicate your preference when you register.

1:00 PM – Panel Discussion: Doing History: Hands on Strategies to Bring History Alive 
Moderated by Andy Horowitz, Ph.D., State Historian

  • Why are experiential approaches to exploring history so powerful?
  • How do we engage the public in the historical method and make it easier to understand the always-evolving nature of history?
  • What experiential strategies can be used to ignite excitement about our collective histories?
  • If the past is alive in the present, what lessons can be taught from doing history?

2:00 PM – Panel Discussion: We Hold Some Truths to Be Self-Evident: For the Common Good  
Moderated by Merle McGee, Everyday Democracy

  • What forces were at play in the founding of our nation and how are we still struggling to live up to the ideals that were outlined 250 years ago?
  • What foundational beliefs shaped our founders’ actions?
  • How do we reconcile the incongruence of founders’ beliefs and the realities of settler colonialism?
  • How does a failure to reckon with our history create stumbling blocks to an inclusive future?

3:00 PM – Coffee Break

3:15 PM – Panel Discussion: Marketing Your America 250 | CT Story

  • How can the media help share Connecticut stories related to America 250?

4:30 PM – Off-site Networking Gathering

  • Join commission members and other conference participants at an off-site location to continue the conversation.
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