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MLK Day and Beyond to "Embrace The Dream"

January 12, 2013
MLK Day and Beyond to "Embrace The Dream"

“God Hates Fags” reads one sign. “Help Wanted, No Irish Need Apply” reads another.

These are just two pieces from a traveling exhibition that opens tomorrow, Sunday, January 13, at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City – the kick-off to a community-built celebration called Embrace The Dream that aims to bring people together to view and discuss everything from racial inequality to discrimination to diversity.

The exhibition, “THEM: Images of Separation,” comes to Traverse City from the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University and runs through March 3. It showcases pop culture items – from postcards and license plates to games and souvenirs – with images promoting hate and perpetuating stereotypes against groups including Asian Americans, Hispanics, Jews and poor whites, as well as those who are “other” in terms of body type or sexual orientation.

Steve Rawlings, regional manager for DTE Energy in Traverse City, first saw the exhibit a couple of years ago and heard curator Dr. David Pilgrim speak. “I knew instantly that we had to have this exhibit and Dr. Pilgrim come to Traverse City,” Rawlings says. The DTE Energy Foundation is the underwriter for the exhibit’s stay in TC.

“I felt it would be really worthwhile for our region – particularly our business leaders and our educators – to be exposed to this and to learn from it, especially in an area like ours which is very homogenous.”

The exhibit is the opening act to a multi-week Embrace The Dream series of events organized by the Traverse City Human Rights Commission with numerous community partners, including NMC, the State Theatre, the Traverse Area District Library, Great Lakes Children's Museum, and others. It encompasses Black History Month and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and spreads ideals of tolerance and respect for all via a series of film screenings, live music and stage performances, and book discussions.

Nearly all events are free – including admission to the Dennos on Saturdays and Sundays – but advance ticket reservations are recommended and can be made by visiting embracethedream.org.

A couple of key events for your calendar:

Thurs., Jan. 17, 5:30 p.m.: “THEM” exhibit curator David Pilgrim speaks at a community reception at the Dennos Museum.

Mon., Jan. 21, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: Free full day of programming at the State Theatre, culminating in a live performance by theDetroit-based Brazeal Dennard Chorale, one of the oldest African-American choral organizations in the U.S. (Free admission to the Dennos this day, too.)

Thurs., Feb. 28, 7 p.m.: “The Spirit of Harriet Tubman” live stage performance by Leslie McCurdy at the Dennos Museum. The show has been called “an inspiring, must-see performance for the whole family.” Tickets are $10.

To catch a glimpse of a few of these highlights, click on the image at top.


Most Recent Comments

 
David Poinsett on January 13, 2013 10:45am

Islamic Imam Dawud Walid was in TC for a conversation about the boundaries of belief in the public square. He was joined by TC First Congregational Church council vice-president & NMC trustee Doug Bishop. They both agreed on the value of religious freedom in America. The discussion also included Pastor Anthony Weber from Church of the Living God, Rabbi Chava Bahle, secular humanist Scott Blair, and Buddhist Fleda Brown. People may be surprise by their spirited and constructive conversation. You can see it online at this UpNorth TV address: http://goo.gl/gzw8o

Gary on January 12, 2013 12:32pm

Wonderful and obviously a much needed program. After two recent incidents of blatant bigitry in the news. Hopefuly certin decision makers from from these groups will attend?
Go good TC!! Thank you to all that are making this happen.

EDITOR on January 12, 2013 12:08pm

NOTE: You can also access event information at www.dennosmuseum.org/tolerance

Don on January 12, 2013 11:54am

Mary, as soon as the muslims let Christian prayer in Mosques, then we'll talk about that.

Mary Rupert on January 12, 2013 11:18am

I stumbled across another great website while searching for embracethedream.org, (having had the same experience as Chuck). Though it doesn't solve the ticket problem, it's a wealth of information about Embracing the Dream. Check out http://www.niot.org. Don, you may wish to visit this site for enlightenment and information about the Muslim faith.

Don on January 12, 2013 10:26am

Bette, The muslim "faith" wants to eliminate ALL other forms of Religion and those that worship in them. As soon as the muslims become more tolerant, so shall others. The "olive branch" has to work in BOTH directions. Not just one.

Chuck Crawford on January 12, 2013 9:19am

the links for embracethedream.org lead to a empty WordPress blog.

Well observed Bette!

Bette on January 12, 2013 8:58am

How appropriate the timing - twice this christmas season during celebrations, at two different churches, we have chosen NOT to "Embrace the Dream" by eliminating songs/prayers from "other" faiths. Speaks volumes about our desire to eliminate "separateness" and exclusions.
Perhaps, some other day...

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