HHRC Launches Bicentennial Vision 2020 Project, Calls for Nominations of Current and Past Black and Brown Heroes in Maine

Vision 2020

AUGUSTA — Members of the public are invited to submit their ideas for Maine’s black and brown heroes over the last 200 years in an exciting new project, Vision 2020, launched by the the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC) today.  The goal is to highlight the contributions of black and brown heroes as part of Maine’s bicentennial celebration. The HHRC and the Vision 2020 Committee are now accepting online nominations for current and past black and brown heroes through an online portal at hhrcmaine.org/vision2020.

“Maine students, our children and grandchildren and the public deserve a telling of Maine history that is truthful and representative,” said Adelaide Solomon-Jordan, an HHRC board member, teacher and member of the Vision 2020 committee. “All too often black and brown voices and contributions go unrecognized and swept aside. As we celebrate Maine’s Bicentennial, we have a chance to acknowledge  and move forward into the next 200 years with more accurate and diverse perspectives on who and what makes Maine so special.”

The Vision 2020 Project is designed to celebrate the role of Black and Brown heroes in Maine. The Project will include a visual arts exhibit at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine next winter and educational programs for Maine students and the general public highlighting the contributions of black and brown people in Maine historically and today.

“Vision 2020 gives way to honor the underrepresented voices of black and brown leaders and pillars of our community who left an indelible imprint and shaped Maine’s history,” said Tam Huynh, Vice President of the HHRC Board of Directors and a member of the Vision 2020 Committee. 

Nominations for black and brown heroes from members of the public will be accepted until July 15th and a public call for artists will follow. The Vision 2020 Project’s exhibits and educational programs are scheduled to open in March of 2021.

“This is a chance to give students and the broader public a more holistic and honest portrayal of Maine’s history and its people, – especially its first peoples,” said Clarissa Sabattis, Maliseet Tribal Chief and member of the Vision 2020 committee. “Maine has a colorful and rich history that too often goes untold.  Having a better understanding of our past will help us  build a better future.”

“We want Maine children, including all children of color,  to see themselves represented in the telling of Maine’s heroes,” said Lelia DeAndrade, Vision 2020 Committee member and Vice-President of Community Impact at Maine Community Foundation. “Acknowledgement and understanding is the first step in dismantling white supremacy and institutional racism to build a more just and inclusive society.”

Members of the Vision 2020 Committee include Jerome Bennett, Lelia DeAndrade, Tam Huynh, Marcia Minter, Darren Ranco, Clarissa Sabattis, Lisa Sockabasin, Adelaide Solomon-Jordan, Rachel Talbot Ross and Jenna Vendil.

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