Greenwich Historical Society’s “Shining a Light” Lecture Series to Focus on Diverse Voices

In its third year, the Greenwich Historical Society’s “Shining a Light” lecture series offers stories of people and organizations who have had a profound impact on the history of the northeast.

Topics range from the history of Colonial Hartford’s Native, African and African American populations, to the often-untold story of the influence of New York City’s LGBT population on American history and culture, to South Asian Americans’ role in US history, and to environmental indigenous activism.

“This focus on inclusive and insightful programming enables us to learn from and engage with speakers who have expertise in topics that are central to our nation’s narrative,” said Stephanie Barnett, Greenwich Historical Society’s Public Programs Manager.

Ancient Burying Ground, courtesy of

Diverse Stories from Women’s Lives in the Ancient Burying Ground
Thursday, March 30
6:00 – 7:15 pm, free virtual Zoom lecture
Speaker: Dr. Katherine Hermes
Ancient Burying Ground Association
Publisher and Executive Director of Connecticut Explored magazine
Board of Trustees of the Institute for American Indian Studies

A large obelisk lists the names of the male founders of Hartford buried in the Ancient Burying Ground, but it excludes the many women who made their efforts possible and kept Hartford running. Dr. Katherine Hermes will present compelling narratives of several of these women, ranging from the daughters, wives, and widows of the founders to the Native, African, and African-American female servants and enslaved women who managed the households. She will also explore the lives of people like Ruth Moore who was the first woman of color to leave a will in colonial Hartford, and Sarah Onepenny, a leading elder of the Wangunk.

For more information and to register:

Invisible No More, courtesy of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

Invisible No More: Historic Places Connected to LGBTQ New Yorkers and Commuters

Thursday, April 13
6:00 – 7:15 pm, free virtual Zoom lecture
Speaker: Amanda Davis, Project Manager of NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

New York City has long been a refuge for LGBTQ people who, in turn, have helped shape the history and culture of the city, region, and nation through countless historic places. Until recently, these contributions went largely unknown and uncelebrated. Since 2015, the award-winning NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project has worked to flip the narrative by documenting historic places connected to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in NYC. Architectural historian and activist Amanda Davis will present the ongoing efforts of the Project, and stories about how LGBTQ activism and life in the city has impacted people in the Tri-State area and beyond, including historic places in NYC that have ties to prominent people who once lived in Connecticut, such as Katherine Hepburn and beloved children’s book author Maurice Sendak.

For more information and to register:

The Missing Stories, courtesy of SAADA (South Asian American Digital Archives)

The Missing Stories: South Asian American History from the 1700s to Today
Thursday, May 4
6:00 – 7:15 pm, free virtual Zoom lecture
Samip Mallick
Co-founder and Executive Director of SAADA (South Asian American Digital Archives)

South Asian Americans have had a significant presence in the U.S. for more than 130 years. Early immigrants worked on farms and factories, helped build railroads and struggled for equal rights. Today, more than 5.4 million people in the U.S. trace their heritage to South Asia, the fastest growing immigrant group in the country. While their stories are an integral part of the American experience, little information is available about them. Samip Mallick’s South Asian American Digital Archives is working to change that by creating a future where each person’s story is valued and given the dignity and importance it deserves. He will discuss how communities come to be excluded from the archival record and how these absences can be reversed, using SAADA’s archival collections, programs, and participatory storytelling projects as examples. For more information and to register:

Thirteen Moons, courtesy of Mashantucket Pequot Museum

Thirteen Moons: Seasons and Lifeways of the Mashantucket Pequot
Thursday, May 11
6:00 – 7:15 pm, free virtual Zoom lecture
Speaker: Nakai Northup
Museum Educator at Mashantucket Pequot Museum
Vice Chair of Mashantucket Natural Resource Committee

A passionate advocate and activist for Native American rights, Nakai Northup of the Narragansett and Mashantucket Pequot tribes will present “Thirteen Moons” an in-depth view of the Pequot’s relationship to the seasons and lifeways of the Mashantucket Pequot. Historic preservation, environmental Indigenous activism, food sovereignty, and traditional eastern woodland histories and lifeways will be explored.

For more information and to register:

Funding for the “Shining a Light” Lecture Series is made possible by a Grant from Connecticut Humanities (CTH), an independent, non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. CTH connects people to the humanities through grants, partnerships, and collaborative programs. CTH projects, administration, and program development are supported by state and federal matching funds, community foundations, and gifts from private sources. Learn more by visiting