Notable NL County figures talk at opening of 'Stories of Resilience: Encountering Racism' exhibit

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum will host a special exhibition reception featuring a panel discussion by notable New London County residents 5-7 p.m. Feb. 20, as part of its observance of Black History Month.

The discussion complements the museum’s exhibition "Stories of Resilience: Encountering Racism," on view from Feb. 14 through April 11, showcasing personal photographs, artifacts, and video testimonies that portray remarkable successes in the face of personal and systematic racism faced by African Americans. The exhibition highlights the lives of five exceptional people — attorney Lonnie Braxton, Rev. Florence Clarke, Sonalysts Board member Donetta Hodge, Coast Guard Commander (Ret.) Merle Smith, and 19th-century freed slave and teacher Ichabod Pease.

Developed as part of the Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut’s Encountering Differences program, the exhibition represents the group’s efforts to educate youth and combat hate in light of the rise in racial incidents occurring locally and on school campuses.

The exhibition explores the stories of area residents and their experiences relating to race: segregation, the migration North, the Civil Rights Movement, systemic racism, and current acute manifestations of racism. Through the exhibition and related programs, museum visitors are encouraged to think about how they can promote change and advocacy in their schools and greater communities as well as examine their own responsibilities in creating a just society.

The Feb. 20 opening reception and panel discussion will feature the reception beginning at 5 p.m. and the panel discussion at 6 p.m. The event is free for museum members and $10 for non-members. RSVP to to (860) 443-2545, ext. 2129.

The Lyman Allyn is located at 625 Williams St., New London. Call (860) 443-2545 or visit


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