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“Salem Remembers: Connecting Past and Present”

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Sep 22 @ 5:00 pm

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September 22, 1692. Visitors to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial on Liberty Street may notice the same date etched in multiple stones. Why? It was on this date that the final eight victims of the Salem Witch Trials were put to an unjust and gruesome death.
To commemorate the date, Voices Against Injustice (VAI) and Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) are hosting an online panel discussion, “Salem Remembers: Connecting Past and Present.” This free program, scheduled for Wednesday, September 22, at 5 pm, will be facilitated by Doneeca Thurston, VAI Board Member and Director of the Lynn Museum, and will open with Salem State University Associate Professor Margo Shea, who will speak on ‘Memorials as Active Spaces.’ Shea is a former VAI Board member who notes, “when we stand up with and defend anyone on the margins, as well as those whose voices have been silenced, we honor the history of 1692.”
In addition to Shea, panelists include: Lydia Gordon, Associate Curator, Peabody Essex Museum; Dan Lipcan, Ann C. Pingree Director of PEM’s Phillips Library; Elizabeth Matelski, Assistant Professor in the School of Arts & Sciences, Endicott College; and Paula Richter, Curator for Exhibitions and Research, Peabody Essex Museum.
Once Shea grounds participants in the sacredness of space, other speakers will focus on the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and the upcoming PEM exhibition, The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming, on view from September 18, 2021 through March 20, 2022. Matelski, who served as Project Director for an NEH Summer Institute for secondary teachers entitled “The Salem Witch Trials: Their World and Legacy,” will add another dimension by drawing parallels to other events including the Japanese American incarceration camps in the U.S. during World War II.
According to Lipcan, who is currently a VAI Board Member and Co-Chair of the Memorial Committee, “One way we can honor the victims of the trials is to explore how to use the lessons of our shared past to influence our present and advance social justice.”
To register for the September 22 event, click here.