March is Women’s History Month and invites us to celebrate the unique contributions that women have made to American History while also considering the ways that sexism has shaped our collective history. There are many resources for learning more about women’s history and women’s role in political life. Among them:
Civil Rights Era Film Festival at PPL (all screenings are free and open to the public) :
Thursday, Febuary 27, 6:30 pm: In the Heat of the Night Friday, February 28, 6:30 pm: A Raisin in the Sun Saturday, March 1, 2:00 pm: Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner Saturday, March 1, 5:00 pm: To Kill a Mockingbird
Next week, the conversation about our racial history, present, and future continues with a Maine Humanities Council and Space Gallery offering : “Race in a Networked World.”
PPL’s City of Readers offers this book list for those interested in exploring African-American history through fiction, while a quick search of “Civil Rights Movement” yields great non-fiction resources.
Black History Month offers us all an opportunity to better understand the complexities of race in our country and to consider our current role in addressing and dismantling discrimination that persists. How are things similar or different from 1964? Come to our film fest, and then weigh in on Facebook or the comments section!
In the mean time, enjoy this trailer for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner:
Last October, the Choose Civility Initiative offered a series of “Civic Writing” lunches, with the intention of supporting public participation through writing — that is, writing letter’s to the editor, op-eds, blog posts — even tweets! I was so pleased to recently receive an email from a participant who did in fact write a letter and get it published in the Portland Press Herald (read it here, and then consider keeping the conversation going with a letter of your own).
She followed up by noting that once she’d written her LTE, it was easy to convert into a letter to her Senators, too!
We hope her experience is inspiring to you, too. This snowy Valentine’s Day is a great day to engage friends and families in a civic art / civic writing project — let policy makers and your fellow community members know what is on your heart and mind by making them a Valentine!
For support / inspiration check out these links:
The University of Kansas’s Community Tool Box offers some excellent resources for prompting letters to Legislators and To the Editor.