Black Lives Matter
2020 has been a year of societal upheaval. Add together the slow grind of the effects of systemic racism, with the lens focused by the rapid spread and response to COVID-19, and the ongoing murders of Black people at the hands of the police and individuals—and a tipping point has been reached. It is time for a redesign from every angle of our society; this includes museums.
The Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum stands with Black Lives Matter and those who are calling for investment in communities and resources to ensure Black people not only survive but thrive.
At the Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum, we know that cigar tobacco history is everyone’s history. We have that embedded in our strategic plan. But, we have not been great about getting that message out. We seek to change this.
We know that change will not come simply from declaring our solidarity and support. Leadership requires that we look inward as well as outward. We will listen; we will strive to be a better museum.
Going forward, we recognize that the history that visitors learn at our museum must reflect all of the voices of cigar tobacco agricultural labor. We vow to work with new partners to dismantle a one-sided narrative and build interpretations that reflect the sum of all peoples who work tobacco in the Connecticut River Valley.
Along the way, we commit to showing up, listening, and responding to calls to action from our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), Women, and Immigrant partners in this work. We welcome all stories to better tell the story of cigar tobacco agriculture of the entire Connecticut River Valley region.
Our mission is the same, and we continue our work of preserving and interpreting a full history of the agricultural of tobacco that makes fine cigars.