We Make History 

It may seem cliche at this point to say that we are living in unprecedented times, but there is little question that this is the case.  Across the country young people are organizing, mobilizing, and agitating social and political structures - they’re getting into good trouble.  Together, we are trying to make sense of what racial inequity in the midst of a global pandemic means for our immediate, long-term, personal and collective well-being. Nationwide and right here in Connecticut, young people are understanding that we make our own history. We want to learn more about your contribution to history!

We Make History is a collaborative community project seeking to elevate the experiences of young people by helping share their voices and work. In collaboration with Wesleyan Library’s Special Collection & Archives and the Middlesex County Historical Society, Wesleyan University’s Jewett Center for Community Partnerships encourages young people 25 and under to reflect upon their personal, familial, and community experiences during 2020 - a year defined by a global pandemic, economic uncertainty, and political unrest.  We Make History will focus particularly on the impact of the ongoing fight for racial justice and on how youth are coping with COVID.

Call for Submissions

Interested in making a submission?  You can share:

  • Written submissions of any length (journal entries, essays, poetry etc.)
  • Audio or video recordings
  • An original work of art (sketches, paintings, etc.)

Perhaps you have already created something you can submit? We’d love to see it!

If you’re still thinking or would like to create something new, here are some questions to think about as you get started: 

  • What is your new reality as a young person, and how are you facing it?
  • What’s one way that young people are being impacted that no one’s talking about?
  • What has been most challenging for you over the past year and what ideas do you have on how to address these issues?
  • What do you want people in the future to know about this time period? 
  • What does Black Lives Matter mean to you?
  • What have you learned about race, class, health, and justice over the past year?
  • What has community looked like for you this year? How are you building community?

All participants will be entered to win prizes including electronics, arts supplies and KidCity Children’s museum passes, and more! 

Share your submission here: https://forms.gle/QZWZYZH5P2QqyaRa7

 Graphic with We Make History inside a speech bubble, with graphics of raised fists in multiple shades. Text reads Young People: your community wants to hear from you! Wesleyan logo at the bottom.

What is the Wesleyan University Archives?

The Wesleyan University Archives, part of Special Collections & Archives, primarily documents the administration and activities of Wesleyan University since its founding in 1831. We have over 10,000 linear feet of records that cover a broad range of topics and are in a variety of formats including audio, videotapes and film, photographs, and now electronic records.

We are constantly adding new materials to our collections about what is happening at the university and surrounding communities today to have materials for students and researchers of the future. This project will help us document a new set of experiences to expand our collections in a topic that there is great interest in.

All We Make History submissions with completed permission forms will be included in the archives for perpetuity. These records will help future members of the Wesleyan and greater Middletown communities (and beyond) better understand the times we are living in today. Contributions may also be displayed in future virtual or in-person exhibitions. The submissions will be accessible based on the choices selected in the permission form. You can have the submission be anonymous or name attached. If you have any questions about the archives, please contact sca@wesleyan.edu.

What is the Middlesex County Historical Society?

Founded in 1901, the Middlesex County Historical Society is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of Middletown and Middlesex County, and providing programs for adults and children to increase their understanding of the area’s past.  Both online and in-person museum exhibits, walking tours, lectures, and a student essay contest are among its many annual events The MCHS is planning an exhibit about how Middletown experienced and participated in the history-making events of 2020, putting those events in conversation with Middletown's past (using objects from the historical society's archives).