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.
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.