Project Seeks Nominations for Maine’s Black and Brown Heroes

Richfield 2020 is the state of Maine’s bicentennial. This 200th birthday is being celebrated through depictions of the people and events that shaped what the state is today. These stories and images appear all over the state, in newspapers, tv, at schools, town halls and countless other places. However, many of us have noticed that this telling of Maine’s history focuses almost exclusively on White men and women. Why don’t these stories reflect all the people who have contributed to Maine?

hopelessly Vision 2020 is a project of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine (HHRC) to push back on this telling of Maine’s history. We want to highlight that throughout Maine’s history, black and brown people have been part of and contributed to every facet of life here. And more, that black and brown people have shaped Maine’s history in important ways that deserve our attention and appreciation.

Vision 2020 is designed to celebrate the role of Black and Brown heroes in Maine. Our purpose is to produce a visual arts exhibit and educational programs for Maine students highlighting the contributions of black and brown people in Maine historically and today. 

Vision 2020 started with a group of committed community members, working with the Holocaust Human Right Center of Maine. And we want people across Maine to join us in this important work.  enskede-årsta singlar Share with us the stories of Black and Brown people that you think are heroes of Maine over the last two hundred years to the present.  Help us make sure that the vision of Maine’s history and future is 20/20! Nominate Someone Partner or Sponsor

Photo courtesy of Corey Templeton Photography

About the Vision 2020 Project

A Note On Language A Note On Language

We struggled with our language in drafting this call. We recognize that these terms, “black”, “brown” and “hero”, are problematic and far from perfect. The language of race- how people name themselves and been named by others- has a long and complicated history. Racial labels are rooted themselves in racist beliefs, white privilege, colorism and other systems of oppression. They have been used to limit and demean people and call their humanity into question.  But these labels have also been consistently reclaimed and redefined. They are a core part of resistance, self-determination and pride. 

We also recognize that the word hero is troublesome.  In most traditional definitions, it refers to men. We could find no other words that are gender neutral and we didn’t want to use hero and heroine, which would only reinforce the idea that gender is binary. 

These name and labels are far from resolved. They continue to evolve and be loaded with emotion. We recognize that each one could spark months of conversations, and hundreds of pages of debate. We ask you to take them in the spirit that we offer them- in a sincere desire and commitment to recognize the contributions of people who are far too often left out of the stories we tell about history. What do we mean by black and brown?

When we say “black,” we mean people of African descent. This includes African Americans and people from all African, Afro-Latin, and Caribbean nations. We are referring to the geographic breadth of all the places where Africans were displaced as a result of the transatlantic slave trade. When we say “brown”, we mean Native American, indigenous, Latinx, East and Southeast Asian, the Middle Eastern and the Pacific Rim peoples. Our definition is intended to be inclusive of people of color. Who is a hero?

We want to use a very broad definition of what it means to be a hero. We leave it to those who nominate people to decide who a hero is to them. We offer these most basic ideas.

A hero is a person:  

  • who perseveres through real challenges
  • is courageous, honest, consistent and has integrity
  • puts themselves on the line for a greater cause, for justice and for their community 
  • challenges and changes accepted ideas, and stories of how things are and should be
  • centers the experiences of their human and natural communities through public works, diplomacy, and collaboration
  • shows leadership because of the way that they live their life or because of the contribution they’ve made through their art and writing
  • consistently recognizes their humanity in relation to other people
  • takes difficulty or ugly experiences and turns them into something beautiful
  • always remains connected to where they come from and to their community
  • changes their own life and the lives of others in the process. 

Vision 2020 Committee Jerome Bennett Lelia DeAndrade Tam Huynh Marcia Minter Darren Ranco Clarissa Sabattis Lisa Sockabasin Adelaide Solomon-Jordan Rachel Talbot Ross Jenna Vendil

Nominate Your Black or Brown Hero

Please Note: If a member of the Vision 2020 committee or an immediate family member of that committee member is nominated by a member of the public, that committee member will recuse themselves from deliberations about inclusion of the nomination in the Vision 2020 exhibit. Online Nomination Form Online Nomination Form

Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 3 files.

Download the Nomination Form

If you would like to fill out the nomination form on your computer or print out a copy, please download the nomination form here: https://hhrcmaine.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Vision-2020-Nomination-Form.pdf