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“Declaring Freedom” Conference Central Connecticut State University

Dr. Matthew Warshauer,
Professor of History, CCSU

Tony Roy,
President, Connecticut Council for Social Studies

Steve Armstrong
Social Studies Coordinator, CT Dept. of Education

Exhibitor Invitation:

Please join a coalition of Connecticut history, social studies, humanities, and museum partners for a development conference on the Declaration of Independence and the meaning of freedom in America and beyond.  The details of the conference are below.  What we are asking of a select group of historical societies and museums is to join us at the conference to both represent your organization and to create an exhibit the in some ways helps viewers to explore the meaning of freedom, historically and contemporarily. 

Day 1-2 of the conference with 250 high school students and their teachers includes 10 themed breakout sessions – from women and gender rights, black freedom, indigenous sovereignty, Puerto Rican self-determination, the January 6th Insurrection, and U.S. Foreign Policy, to Contemporary Media and Democracy – we will explore the ever-changing meaning of freedom.

The Scope of an Exhibit:

Given the broad scope of the themes, we invite partners to develop exhibits that speak to the Declaration of Independence and Revolution directly and/or the ideas and struggle for freedom that has been in constant motion over the last 250 years.

Exhibits can include manuscripts, books, and other primary sources, archival objects, poster boards, digital representations, etc.  CCSU will provide display cases, tables, wall space, and are happy to have conversations about additional means of relaying information.

Expectations of Exhibitors:

  • Develop items for an exhibit in consultation with the conference organizers.
  • Deliver and set up the exhibit to CCSU on Monday, March 11.
  • Attend and represent the exhibit on the four days of the conference.  This is an outstanding opportunity for outreach to the vast network of governmental, state tourism, social studies, history, humanities, museum and historical society communities.
  • Break down the exhibit after the conference.  Timeline for that tbd.

Conference Description:

2026 marks the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

These words have proven immortal, inevitably contested, and profoundly relevant for not just America, but the world.  There are few documents that have echoed more resoundingly across the centuries and the globe. 

Please join Connecticut’s preeminent teachers, scholars, history professionals and students as we embark on an exploration of the Declaration and Democracy.  This four-day “Declaring Freedom” Conference experience is designed to launch a robust consideration of our State, our founders’ ideals and contributions to the development of America, as well as the philosophical challenges that often stood in the way of freedom – and continue to do so.

  • Conference Day 1&2, March 13-14, 2024: 250 high school students from across CT will investigate the Declaration’s foundations, its legacy, and the constant struggle to achieve its enlightened ideas.  Students will learn about and see CT Declaration Era treasures from museums and libraries, and choose engaging break-out symposia that span the human quest for freedom and equality. – Keynote speaker: Senator Chris Murphy.

  • Conference Day 3, March 15, 2024: Bringing the power of Connecticut’s vast communities together to discuss and share a vision for what the coming 2026 250th anniversary of the Declaration means and can mean for our state.  As one of the 13 original colonies, Connecticut’s involvement in declaring independence and the American Revolution are integral to our nation’s history.  Key governmental, historical, museum, and tourism partners from across the state will meet with the CT Semiquincentennial Commission.  Keynote speaker: Governor Ned Lamont.

  • Conference Day 4, March 16, 2024: The Association for the Study of Connecticut History and the CT League of History Organizations, along with many partners will spend a day discussing resources, building connections, and making plans. Day 4 will also include the CFT’s very own John Mills.

The “Declaring Freedom” Conference is a collaboration of Central Connecticut State University,  Connecticut Council for the Social Studies, Connecticut Humanities, America 250 CT Commission, Connecticut Supreme Court Historical Society, Connecticut Department of Education, Connecticut State Library/Museum of CT History, Connecticut’s Old State House/The Connecticut Democracy Center/CT History Day, the Association for the Study of CT History, Connecticut League of History Organizations, and The Witness Stones Project.

If you wish to attend Day 4 here is the link to register: