What is racism and how can it continue to hide. What is racism and how can it continue to hide in plain sight, without being challenged? Did you know that you and your students, and/or community members can explore the story of a local, racist carousel panel, and join the in meaningful dialogue it encourages regarding individual, institutional, and structural racism through a new program at the RMSC Museum &Science Center?
In November 2021, the Museum & Science Center (in conjunction with the Take It Down Planning Committee/Faith Community Alliance Coalition), launched a new (and FREE!) anti-racist educational program. The Take It Down Planning Committee/Faith Community Alliance Coalition (TIDPC/FCA) is a group of local activists that launched a campaign in 2015 to remove racist pickaninny artwork from the 1905 Dentzel Menagerie Carousel, a Rochester landmark, located at Ontario Beach Park, better known as Charlotte beach. After eight months of community organizing, protests and debate, the Rochester Preservation Board voted unanimously to approve the petition and charged the RMSC with the responsibility of caring for this historic object and (in conjunction with TDPC/FCA) developing its story into an educational display.
The Take It Down! Organizing Against Racism exhibit was the result of a year-long partnership between the RMSC, TIDPC/FCA, and the City of Rochester. Since 2017, the exhibit has traveled throughout the community as an engaging, anti racist educational tool. Through continued collaboration, the RMSC & TIDPC/FCA developed and launched a new, full-day, immersive educational program, called Take It Down! Organizing Against Racism. This 5-hour program at the Museum & Science Center provides students in grades 3 and up, their families, and educators with new insights, tools, information, and skills to help them get organized, and join with others in standing up, and taking collective, strategic action to address critical community issues and problems.
During the program students will:
● Explore the historical and ongoing existence, manifestations, and impact of individual,institutional, and structural racism
● Learn about the Take It Down/Faith Community Alliance Coalition story from the activiststhemselves,
● Think critically about racist images, objects and their impact
● Engage in discussion and collaboration regarding the importance of getting organized, and joining with others in standing up and taking collective, strategic action to address critical community issues and problems.