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Morgan State receives nearly $250K museum grant to expand civil rights education

Morgan State University officials announced Tuesday it received a three-year, $248,442 grant award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the university’s Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum to fund the development of a programmatic, civil rights-based educational curriculum aimed at Baltimore middle school and high school students.

Exhibits and interactive technology at the Lillie Carrol Jackson Museum. (Photo courtesy of Morgan State University)

Exhibits and interactive technology at the Lillie Carrol Jackson Museum. (Photo courtesy of Morgan State University)

The grant, awarded under the FY2019 Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program, will assist with incorporating Baltimore’s civil rights history into the mainstream curriculum. The museum has partnered with Baltimore City Public Schools, the Maryland Historical Society and Baltimore Heritage, each of which will contribute expertise related to highlighting Baltimore’s civil rights leadership history and implementing experiential educational engagement for educators and its students.

In 2018, IMLS received 37 applications vying for a portion of the $4,841,383 in available funding. Of those requests from across the country, 14 projects, including Morgan State’s, were selected to receive funding totaling $2.231 million. IMLS’ peer reviewers evaluated all eligible and complete applications, assessing the merit of each proposal and its fit with the goals of the grant program. The final determination for funding was made by IMLS’ director.

The IMLS Museum Grants for African American History and Culture program award selection process dictates that each project support the specific goals of building the capacity of the museum; supporting the growth and development of museum professionals; and providing community access and awareness. With Morgan’s project, it enabled the museum to hire Shana Rochester, Ph.D., as an education coordinator and hire intern staff to assist in expanding the museum’s educational objectives. Outside of bolstering museum staff, the grant will primarily benefit the middle school and high school population of the Baltimore metropolitan area.

Local teachers are visiting the Lillie Carroll Jackson museum to build primary source research skills and to connect their instruction to Baltimore’s history and the city’s role in the U.S. civil rights movement. During the school year, teachers bring their students to the museum to engage in a hands-on experience that enriches their understanding of their city’s African-American history and legacy, while building essential historical thinking skills.

The Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum is one of two museums owned and operated by the University, the other is the James E. Lewis Museum of Art. In 2016, the Lillie Carroll Jackson museum, 1320 Eutaw Place, was reopened after a $3-million restoration project. Two years later, the museum was recognized with the Maryland Preservation Award, the state’s highest recognition for historical preservation, heritage education and community development projects.


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