October 15, 2008
By April 23, 2011 the Robert Russa Moton Museum will have in place a permanent exhibit commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Moton student walkout. This exhibition is designed to interpret Prince Edward County’s 13-year struggle for Civil Rights in Education. The project, known as “MP2011,” is funded in part through Dominion Resources recent contribution of $200,000 with additional financial assistance from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities.
The permanent exhibit will offer the only place in the Commonwealth where visitors can trace the 13 years of Prince Edward County’s move from a segregated to an integrated school system. Visitors will come to understand the processes by which citizens and their national, state and local governments resolved the policy issues of racial segregation in public education.
Coordinating the permanent exhibit is the Museum’s Director Lacy Ward Jr. and five consultants from various disciplines. Each consultant brings a particular area of expertise, broad experience and a connection to Southside Virginia and is dedicated to the success of the MP2011.
Jame Anderson, AIA – Exhibit Design Consultant, is a daughter of former Prince Edward County Public School superintendent James Anderson and Prince Edward County High School (PECHS) graduate. Ms. Anderson is now an architect/design coordinator with the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and has worked on such projects as the National Museum of the American Indian and the Arts and Industries Building of the Smithsonian.
Andre Gilliam – Renovation Consultant, is a native of Cumberland County. He is employed by the Commonwealth Regional Council. Gilliam serves as project manager for the Moton Museum’s current TEA-21 renovation projects and has served the museum for the past six years.
Helen Stiff-Williams – Education Consultant, is a former PECHS assistant principal and Virginia Department of Education senior administrator. She is currently a Professor of Education and Center Director with the School of Education of Regent University. She has extensive knowledge of implementing the Standards of Learning.
Jennifer Wall – Public Relations Consultant, worked in public relations at Christies, Longwood University and Fuqua School. Wall has a public relations and marketing firm in Farmville, Details & Company. She is a former board member of the Moton Museum.
Kimberly Watson – Collections Consultant, has taught at Longwood University and has presented at the American Association of Museums. Watson is currently an adjunct professor with Virginia Commonwealth University and the registrar of a private collection in Richmond, Virginia. She is well respected within the registry field.
“We are thrilled to have these professionals and their collective knowledge on board as we reach to have a permanent collection,” said Museum Director Lacy Ward, Jr. “With this teams expertise we will develop an exhibition that will offer high-quality educational programs that will tell the stories that defined a part of Virginia history and the people affected by that history.”
The Moton Museum is located in the former R. R. Moton High School at 900 Griffin Boulevard, Farmville, Virginia. Moton was the site of the April 23, 1951 student walkout in protest of inferior educational facilities led by 16-year-old sophomore Barbara Johns. 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 Supreme Court decisions Brown v. Board (1954) and Brown II (1955).