Project Focuses On Abolitionist Leader Of Historic Talcott Street Church
An annual lecture on racial justice planned as part of a new exhibit and curriculum project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will be supported by the Hartford Heritage Black Studies Fund at Capital Community College.
The Black Studies Fund is being established thanks to an anonymous donation from a professor in the Science and Math department and additional contributions from members of the CCC Foundation’s Board of Directors. New gifts will be matched on a one to one basis that will double the value of donors who want to support the project and sustain an annual lecture.
The Rev. James Pennington Lecture, named for a pastor and abolitionist activist who served at the city’s first Black Church, is planned as an annual event as part of the project that will include place-based curriculum development and an exhibit.
Capital Community College (CCC) has won a $149,426 two-year grant grant focusing on the history and people of Hartford’s historic Talcott Street Church and Black School. The Humanities Initiative award, part of Capital’s Hartford Heritage Project, will support place-based learning in Black history for students at the college and Capital Preparatory Magnet School (Capital Prep) in partnership with nearby museums. It is one of 21 NEH Humanities Initiatives grants nationwide that will advance curricular innovations and enhance educational resources at colleges and universities. The project is developing 12 courses at CCC and three subjects at Capital Prep. An exhibition is planned to support pedagogy and commemorate the historic site of the church and the grant will support the first public Pennington lecture with the Heritage Black Studies Fund continuing the lecture and related activities in subsequent years.
Talcott Street Congregational Church was built on the corner of Talcott and Market Streets in 1826 where today the dilapidated Talcott Parking Garage, now slated for demolition, stands. The site is next door to the the Capital campus that has been housed in the transformed former G. Fox & Company building since 2002.
The activities funded by the grant spring from three Capital students and a student from Trinity College who worked in the Liberal Arts Action Lab in the Spring 2020 semester with Professor Jeffrey Partridge, who directs the Heritage project. The student team created a digital exhibition on the Talcott church and school that led to the plan for new courses, an exhibit and an annual Pennington Lecture. The Action Lab is an educational partnership between Capital Community College and Trinity College established to strengthen the city and its role in the region, spark social innovation, and support civic engagement and sustainability.
“Capital Community College and its Humanities division have been widely recognized for place-based learning over the last decade through the Hartford Heritage Project,” Capital CEO G. Duncan Harris said. “The exhibit and Black History project will further enhance the humanities curricula with content that will inform and inspire our diverse student population.”
Contributions are welcome to the Hartford Heritage Black Studies Fund with new gifts to be matched on a one-for-one basis with leadership donations that established the fund. For more information: CAfirstname.lastname@example.org. Telephone: 860-906-5102