By Nathan Stiff
For The Diamondback
University of Maryland Libraries organized a “pop-up museum” Wednesday, showcasing activism involving people of color.
The exhibition was displayed in Hornbake Library’s lobby, where visitors were encouraged to add items from their own activist experiences. The display is part of the Rise Above initiative, a month-long series of events sponsored by this university’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
University Libraries and the Office of Diversity and Inclustion have been preparing for this event since September, said Dina Shafey Scott, an education and training specialist within the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
This year’s theme of activism was partly inspired by the “very tumultuous political climate” both nationally and on the campus, Shafey Scott said.
“Student groups have been at the forefront of change, in terms of making their voices heard,” Shafey Scott said. “And [they’re] really showing their displeasure with the current administration … and the current University of Maryland administration.”
The museum featured visitors’ and students’ posters, signs and pamphlets. A number of items from this university’s libraries were also on display, including photographs of the historic March on Washington and posters from the National Organization for Women.
“We think it’s a cool idea to juxtapose the display of historical objects with the display of current things that can become history,” said Laura Cleary, outreach coordinator for special collections.
Cleary also said the timing of this event was calculated — it’s during black history month, and soon after the 200th birthday of abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
Senior Isaiah Brickus, an African-American studies major, said he brought items on behalf of the Maryland Food Co-Op, which hosts events for many activist movements. Brickus contributed several photos, pamphlets and the Slingshot journal, a daily planner distributed by the Co-Op including advice and resources for activists.
Junior Jordan Obleton, an economics major, said he enjoyed seeing different items from Maryland’s history.
“It’s pretty cool, seeing all the stuff that’s from College Park,” he said.
Cleary emphasized the contributions and stories from visitors were a key part of this event.
“I hope that people understand the importance of their story to history,” Cleary said.
The entire museum is linked to a long-term exhibit at Hornbake, which includes a collection of documents and artifacts from the American labor movement. This exhibition details the relationship between American labor unions and the Civil Rights Movement.