On Sunday, October 20th, a Peace Pole was dedicated during the “Prudence Crandall takes a Sabbatical” event which took place at the historic Prudence Crandall Museum in Hartford, CT.
In 1883, a woman named Prudence Crandall established the first academy for African American woman in New England. Crandall and her students faced hardships and violence and she was placed on trial twice for breaking a law that was specifically designed to prevent the school from operating. Prudence Crandall demonstrated great courage and moral strength by taking a stand against prejudice and in 1995 the State of Connecticut, USA, designated Prudence Crandall as the state’s official heroine and a statue was erected at the State Capitol in Hartford, Connecticut.
The Prudence Crandall Peace Pole carried the message, May Peace Prevail On Earth, in 8 languages including: Algonquin, English, French, Hindi, Spanish, Swahili, in addition to “May Peace be in Our Schools” and “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in American Sign Language.
The program opened with a talk by Prudence Crandall Biographer Jennifer Rycenga, who came in from California for the event, Iran Nazario from the Peace Center of Connecticut, Joan DiMartino, Prudence Crandall Museum Curator and Liz Shapiro, who is the Director of Arts, Preservation and Museums for the State of Connecticut. Jim Dugan, Peace Pole Maker from May Peace Prevail On Earth International, spoke on how he felt Prudence Crandall likely believed she had no choice but to do the heroic work she did; to teach young African American woman stand up for their rights in society. Jim then shared how each one of us in attendance have no choice than to be heroes in our own lives and in the lives of those around us in what is the most important time for personal action in human history. This event marked the temporary closing of the Museum for an exciting major renovation of the nearly 200 year old building.
Following the event, Joan DiMartino, the Curator of the Museum wrote:
“The Peace Pole at the Prudence Crandall Museum allows for visitors to reflect upon the nonviolent response encouraged by Crandall to her students at the Canterbury Female Boarding School at the height of their persecution and legal trials. The Museum is honored to be part of the Peace Pole Project, and Mr. Dugan’s announcement of the Trees for the Future planting 10 trees on the African Continent in support of the Peace Pole installation was particularly poignant. As he shared the history of the Peace Pole Project, our audience felt connected to the global and historic collaboration of the Project, through Prudence Crandall’s own emphasis on Peace. Thank you so much for everything, Jim, including your great words at the podium!”
To learn more about prudence Crandall and the Prudence Crandall Museum, please see:
For information on The Peace Pole Project, please check out: