The Robert Russa Moton Museum has hired a Program Coordinator to work with educators and tour bus companies so as to increase visitation to the museum. Patrice Carter’s responsibilities also include informing the community about Moton’s story and its relevance to Civil Rights history.
Carter officially began her position June 1, 2010. Carter said the goal of her job is “to create programs that will keep people and different groups coming back to the museum.” She hopes also to form close bonds with schools and other educational institutions.
“I want to establish outreach programs where we can bring information and activities to schools if they are unable to come to the museum.”
Carter, 22, said she hopes to establish a fun and exciting learning environment for teachers, students, and parents from all backgrounds and all ages. “I want the museum to be on the top of the list for schools to visit and take back information to the classroom,” she said.
So far, Carter said, working at Moton and with the museum staff has been a great learning experience. “I am excited to see how far we will go and how many people we will reach,” she said.
A recent graduate of Longwood University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, Carter said what little she knew about Moton she picked up in an education course a few years ago.
“I did not realize the large impact it had not only on Civil Rights, but on history itself,” she said. “I am extremely thankful that the Martha E. Forrester Women’s Council was able to preserve it because it is such an important piece of history that I think should be taught in every school, not just in Prince Edward County.”
The Robert Russa Moton Museum is located at 900 Griffin Boulevard, Farmville, Virginia. It is the site of the April 23, 1951 student walkout, led by 16-year-old junior Barbara Johns, in protest of inferior educational facilities. The Moton strike launched Prince Edward County’s 13-year struggle for Civil Rights in Education and resulted in the filing of Davis v. Prince Edward, which called for an end to racial segregation in public education. Davis was decided, along with four other cases, in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision.
The museum is establishing a permanent exhibit that will trace Prince Edward County’s 13-year struggle to establish an integrated school system. The exhibition will be in place by April 23, 2011, the 60th anniversary of the student protest. It will offer the only place in the Commonwealth of Virginia where visitors can come to understand the processes by which citizens and their national, state, and local governments resolved the policy issues of segregation in public education. For more information visit the museum’s web site at http://motonmuseum.org <http://motonmuseum.org/> .