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Conversation Club at the Stanley-Whitman House

June 13 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Rediscovering Hidden Narratives: Embracing Inclusive Storytelling with Pat Wilson Pheanious

Join us for an enlightening evening at Stanley-Whitman House on Thursday, June 13, 2024, at 7:00 p.m., as we welcome special guest Pat Wilson Pheanious. Together, we’ll embark on a journey of exploration into forgotten narratives and celebrate the importance of inclusive storytelling. Just as we strive to ensure inclusivity in sharing the challenging history of enslavement, Pat will guide us in fostering a welcoming environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

About The Program

Former State Representative Pat Wilson Pheanious will share the significance of her family’s history and why she believes it’s vital to restore Connecticut’s history of slavery. Recently featured on ‘Unforgotten: Connecticut’s Hidden History of Slavery,’ a special series by Connecticut Public, Pat revealed her family’s story through radio storytelling, videos, digital narratives, and more. As Chair of the Witness Stones Project™ Board since 2019, Pat is committed to restoring the history and honoring the humanity of enslaved individuals who contributed to our communities. Through impactful research, Pat uncovered her family’s hidden legacy, discovering her 6th great-grandparents were enslaved in colonial Guilford, CT, in 1727. She also learned of her 5th great-grandfather’s service in the American Revolution and the struggles faced by her family through ten generations of American history. This journey, untaught in traditional schooling, deeply impacted Pat. In her presentation, she will share her personal journey, the evolution of the Witness Stones Project™, and discuss the rationale behind the project. Additionally, she will explore methods and outcomes of teaching “hard history” in middle and high school settings.

About Pat Wilson Pheanious

Pat Wilson Pheanious, J.D., M.S.W., hails from Willimantic, Connecticut, boasting a multifaceted career spanning law, social work, academia, and public service. Educated at E.O. Smith High School and the University of Connecticut, where she attained bachelor’s, master’s in social work and juris doctor degrees, Pat was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1981. Her professional journey has seen her in diverse roles, from Associate Professor at University of Saint Joseph, to District Director for Social Services and Commissioner of the State Department of Social Services. Noteworthy positions include Manager of Human Services for Denver, Colorado, and representing Connecticut’s 53rd District in the State House of Representatives. Pat’s ancestral heritage intertwines with significant historical events, with ancestors Phillis and Montros memorialized with Witness Stones, and her father’s legacy as a Tuskegee Airman adds to the richness of her family’s narrative. Even in retirement, Pat remains active, serving as a state representative and contributing to Democratic initiatives in the House. She brings her storytelling prowess and dedication to public service to her latest endeavor as Chair of the Witness Stones Project ™ Board, aiming to restore the dignity and stories of enslaved individuals who shaped communities. Pat’s journey of discovery, including her family’s hidden legacy of enslavement in colonial Guilford, Connecticut, underscores the importance of acknowledging and teaching “hard history.” Join us as Pat shares her insights and experiences, shedding light on Connecticut’s historical involvement with slavery and advocating for recognizing untold narratives that reshape our understanding of the past.

About Conversation Club

Inspired by the rich tradition of “The Conversation Club,” established in 1818, our monthly gathering offers a dynamic platform for engaging dialogue. Join us on the third Thursday of each month as we delve into lively conversations rooted in history. Through re-examining the past, our club fosters meaningful discussions that inspire learning, reflection, and a shared vision for the future.

About Stanley-Whitman House

Located in the heart of the historic village of Farmington, Stanley-Whitman House stands as the town’s inaugural museum, offering vivid insights into early colonial life. Beyond traditional exhibits, our museum provides immersive experiences through dynamic programs, events, classes, and hands-on exploration opportunities, including living history demonstrations, publications, exhibits, a library, an archive, and a permanent collection. Our centerpiece is a circa 1720 National Historic Landmark house with period antiques, offering a glimpse into colonial Connecticut life. Surrounding the house, visitors can stroll through period-raised bed gardens, explore an apple orchard, and admire heritage stone walls, immersing themselves in the past. Since 1935, Stanley-Whitman House has operated under the auspices of the Farmington Village Green and Library Association, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the rich history and culture of 17th-19th-Century Farmington, Connecticut.

Join the Conversation

This program isn’t just about listening but actively participating in the dialogue. Please bring your questions, perspectives, and curiosity as we navigate the complexities of telling inclusive histories together. Register online at https://www.s-wh.org/conversation-club or call (860) 677-9222 to reserve your spot.

Organizer

Stanley-Whitman House