QUOTATIONS FROM 2023 PARTICIPANTS
“We can’t make sense of who we are today, without understanding who we have been, without understanding that this history is ours. We have to own it all. We have to claim it all. We can’t just celebrate the good stuff + pretend the bad stuff didn’t happen. If you’re able to deal with the discomfort, if you’re able to wade into those waters, the other side is these powerful people, these powerful stories that spark creativity and imagination and determination, and in the students it sparks the desire for action, the desire for change.”
— Dr. Hasan Kwame Jeffries, Associate Professor of History, The Ohio State University
“I’ve been doing this work since the 1980s, I’ve been to scores of conferences and symposia and programs, and I can tell you hands down that this is the most important, most productive, most meaningful, and most promising thing I have done in my career. We often sit around and talk about what we’re going to do, what we should do, what we can publish…the Troutbeck Symposium is doing it! It’s the roadmap for the future. It’s life or death right now. I studied this history. People lost their lives. It’s violent. It’s dangerous. It’s not just academic, it’s life or death. There is no ‘Us and Them’ — it’s just Us. You take that together in whatever field you work in, as a mother, as a teacher, whatever you do….This work is extraordinarily important.”
— Dr. Christina Proenza-Coles, American Studies Department, University of Virginia
This world is terrifying, and this country is scary enough to make people want to escape. I am one of those people. While this country is a dangerous place for many people, The Troutbeck Symposium was a light of hope. My classmates and I researched forgotten, lost, or ignored history and presented it for this symposium. The presentations from my school and the other schools there were so moving and showed that we wanted change. This was unlike other conferences as there was actual work behind it, each presentation had many hours of research behind it.
— Lucas Cepeda, Salisbury School, 2023
Let’s celebrate and amplify place, network and intersections as we aim to keep our work real and authentic. And a word about authenticity, it makes my Beinecke Library heart sing to see highschool students engage with the tangible archives both in a library like ours as well as the archives that exist in cemeteries, the archives of community memory of people, the archives in local historical societies. And what we’ve seen, last year and this year, which all of us who were in this room know, is hard history but with it comes resilience and vitality and joy. And I think we all know, but it is worth centering and thinking about we share these young people come to life in the archives, just as they bring the archives to life. And I think some of it is true over time, but more true in our time, and it’s not just for teenagers, it’s for all ages, is this focus on authenticity and real.
— Michael Morand, Director of Community Engagement at Beinecke Library at Yale University
I wish I could have spent the entire day there, absorbing the intelligence and ethical creativity of the students. What I saw gave me hope that students in the schools in our area are learning about America's complicated and uneven commitment to equality--and may themselves discover new ways to bring us closer living to this important dream.
— Carol Ascher, author A Chance for Land and Fresh Air, Russian, Jewish Immigrants in Sharon and Amenia 1907-1940
I really enjoyed the symposium. It was so much more than I was expecting. The student videos were beyond impressive, and I certainly learned things from them and the speakers that I hadn't known before.
— Jen Owens, Administrator, Sheffield Historical Society