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April 15, 2004
CONTACT: Pamela Young

Detroit students to experience interactive civil rights activities at Eastern Michigan University April 19

YPSILANTI - The American civil rights movement was a critical time in U.S. history. Now, approximately 20 Detroit elementary school students will have a chance to "experience" that era when they participate in an interactive learning museum April 19 at Eastern Michigan University. Sponsored by EMU's education students, the event runs 10 - 11:30 a.m., Alumni Room, McKenny Union, on EMU's Ypsilanti campus.

Under the direction of EMU students, fifth-graders from Marcus Garvey Academy will participate in six interactive learning exhibits. Participants will:

Learn about freedom schools in the South that empowered young people to become responsible citizens;

Discover the true story of Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycotts;

Interact with Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches and write letters to state politicians;

Learn about children during the civil rights movement and create their own protest signs;

Investigate current and past civil and human rights struggles in Detroit; and

Create a timeline of the civil rights movement and solve math problems to help develop a better understanding of

Students also will interview several civil rights leaders from Detroit including hip hop artist Invincible, from the organization Detroit Summer; and Jim Embry, a community activist. Detroit Summer hosts summer programs for youths.

"This is an exciting opportunity for both groups of students. The purpose of the Civil Rights Interactive Learning Museum project is to create a rich teaching and learning opportunity that focuses on making the world we live in a better place," said Ethan Lowenstein, assistant professor of education at Eastern Michigan University and coordinator of the event.

The great thing about the project is that it benefits everyone, he said. "EMU students learn how to teach and create multicultural curricula and Detroit students benefit by experiencing powerful instruction that is focused on issues of social justice and community development."

The interactive museum also will be on display at the Grace Lee Boggs Center, an advocacy and community-building organization, June 18-20. The center is located at 3061 Field St. in Detroit.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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