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Ed Palmedo

Choosing to Participate: Facing History and Ourselves

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Created by Facing History and Ourselves, a global education nonprofit organization, Choosing to Participate is civic initiative and traveling exhibition that encourages young people and adults to think deeply about the importance of participating in a democratic society. Choosing to Participate opens at the Historical Society on February 17 and will be on view through June 17, 2011.


This powerful exhibition examines the impact and history of racism and injustice, and looks at the courageous choices people made to build strong and inclusive communities. Through the exploration of four stories from contemporary American history, visitors consider the following questions: What does it mean to be a citizen of a democracy? What can we learn from each other's stories? What is our responsibility to society?


From a late night subway ride in New York City in the 1950s to desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas, a Montana community speaking out against hate, and the challenges faced by a young Cambodian refugee as he struggled to build a new life in New Hampshire, these stories challenge us to consider our responsibilities as citizens and encourages dialogue, respect, and participation in our communities.


Washington, DC is the second stop on a five city national tour. Host cities include Cleveland, Washington DC, Memphis, New York, and Chicago. The previous seven city tour reached hundreds of thousands of students, educators, and community members.


Guided tours are directed toward middle and high school students. For more information or to schedule a tour go to www.choosingtoparticipate.org or contact Lindsay Bowles at 202.383.1899.

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