Partnerships with the Peabody Essex Museum exploring the intersection of art and social justice; the City of Salem, Salem Public Schools, the Community Development Corporation and the PEM on a “Six Word Memoir Project” where we collected and displayed over 2000 six-word memoirs on the theme of inclusion; the House of the Seven Gables for an immigration-themed book read; membership as an International Site of Conscience; and many more.
Symposiums, panels, lectures, and tours
Symposiums, panels, lectures, and tours featuring experts, scholars, and authors on topics including Elie Wiesel’s stirring dedication of the Memorial in 1992; a walking tour highlighting “The Quakers of Early Salem” and their unique influence during the trials; a panel titled “Got Empathy?” exploring the power of empathy in addressing injustice; a morning dedicated to the “Poetry of Witness” where poems expressing ideas on silence, witness, persecution and memory were written and displayed at the Memorial; university-based symposia on contemporary views of the trials; and Chief Justice Margaret Marshall of the Massachusetts Superior Court talking about how our modern system of jurisprudence was designed as a direct result of the trials.
Seasonal “Tent Talks” offered at the Memorial site featuring local experts designed to bring greater visibility to issues of human rights and social justice in contemporary society. Samples of subjects and speakers include:
- Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, “On Being a City of Inclusion”
- Kate Fox, Director of Destination Salem, “Ten Misperceptions About the Witch Trials”
- Margo Shea, Professor Salem State University, “What the Salem Witch Trials Memorial Means”
- Braden Paynter, International Sites of Conscience, “What it Means to be a Site of Conscience”
- Avi Chomsky, History Professor, Salem State University, “America’s Border Crisis: When Did Immigration Become Illegal?”
- Alexandra Pineros Shields, Professor, Brandeis University, Executive Director, Essex County Community Organization, “How Can We Reframe the Immigration Debate?”
- Rep. Paul Tucker, “Human Rights and Homeland Security”
Annual Awards Events
Annual Awards Events including the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice and the Rising Leader Award presented to local youth.
Salem’s Black Heritage Audio Tour - developed by VAI and created with high school students and faculty at Salem State and funded through a grant, this tour highlights the generations of active Black citizens in Salem, from its founding, through slavery, abolitionist activities to the modern-day. To use the guide download the UniGuide App
National Park Service Orientation Video - partially funded by VAI and created with partner sites, this video is an orientation to the events of 1692, the memorial site, and other partner sites related to the Trials. It is regularly shown in the Visitor Center of the National Park Service in Salem.
VAI video - Video introducing visitors to the Memorial and VAI.
1692 Brochure - produced through a grant from the North of Boston Visitor’s Bureau, this brochure introduces visitors to the regional sites related to the trials.
Film screenings and follow-up discussions including The House I Live In followed by a discussion one of the formerly unjustly incarcerated men and his attorney; of Girl Rising followed by discussion groups led by ninth-graders at the Salem Academy Charter School; and of The Post discussed by Charles Sennott of The GroundTruth Project and Ben Bradlee, Jr. in a post-screening Q&A.