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La Grua hosts "Stories of Resilience: Encountering Racism"

The "Stories of Resilience: Encountering Racism" exhibition will kick off at La Grua Center with a free hour-long panel discussion featuring exhibit contributors at 6 p.m. Oct. 7 on Zoom; ticket reservations are necessary and available free of charge at lagruacenter.org.

The exhibit highlights the lives of five exceptional residents of New London County, past and present — 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. "Stories of Resilience" showcases their determination, bravery, and strength in the face of personal and systemic racism. The exhibit paints a picture of remarkable successes in the face of daunting obstacles through personal photographs, artifacts, and video testimonies.

Developed as part of the Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut’s Encountering Differences program, a unique opportunity for students to learn about racism through the eyes of local residents, the exhibition explores segregation, the migration North, the Civil Rights Movement, systemic racism, and current acute manifestations of racism. The exhibit is an integral part of the group’s efforts to break down racial and cultural barriers and confront hatred and prejudice given the rise in racial incidents occurring locally and on school campuses.

Through the exhibition and related programs, visitors are encouraged to think about how they can promote change and advocacy in their communities as well as and examine their own responsibilities in creating a just society.

Panelists include Braxton, Clarke, and Hodge. The panel will be moderated by Jerry Fischer, retired executive director of the Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut.

The exhibit will be open for viewing at La Grua in Stonington 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays Oct. 7 through Dec. 19 and by appointment by calling La Grua Center at (860) 535-2300.

 

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