Events \\ Virtual Event

Salem Remembers: Connecting Past and Present

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 5 pm

Free event

September 22, 1692. Visitors to the Salem Witch Trials Memorial on Liberty Street may notice the same date etched in multiple stones. Why? It was on this date that the final eight victims of the Salem Witch Trials were put to an unjust and gruesome death.

To commemorate the date, Voices Against Injustice (VAI) and PEM are hosting an online panel discussion, Salem Remembers: Connecting Past and Present. This program will be facilitated by Doneeca Thurston, VAI Board Member and Director of the Lynn Museum, and will open with Salem State University Associate Professor Margo Shea, who will speak on Memorials as Active Spaces. Shea is a former VAI Board member who notes, “when we stand up with and defend anyone on the margins, as well as those whose voices have been silenced, we honor the history of 1692.”

In addition to Shea, panelists include: Lydia Gordon, PEM Associate Curator; Dan Lipcan, Ann C. Pingree Director of PEM’s Phillips Library; Elizabeth Matelski, Assistant Professor in the School of Arts & Sciences, Endicott College; and Paula Richter, PEM Curator for Exhibitions and Research.

Once Shea grounds participants in the sacredness of space, other speakers will focus on the Salem Witch Trials Memorial and the upcoming PEM exhibition, The Salem Witch Trials: Reckoning and Reclaiming. Matelski, who served as Project Director for an NEH Summer Institute for secondary teachers entitled “The Salem Witch Trials: Their World and Legacy,” will add another dimension by drawing parallels to other events including the Japanese American incarceration camps in the U.S. during World War II.

Voices Against Injustice is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization with a threefold mission: to remember, to honor, and to act. To learn more about the organization and to submit a nomination for either the Salem Award or the Rising Leader Award, visit

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