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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Facing History and Ourselves to Present “Choosing to Participate”

NATIONALLY ACCLAIMED EXHIBIT COMING TO WASHINGTON, D.C. OFFERS LOOK AT PREJUDICE, INJUSTICE AND THE MORAL CHOICES WE MUST MAKE TO ENSURE A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY
Facing History and Ourselves to Present “Choosing to Participate” 
@
Historical Society of Washington, D. C., 
February 17-June 17, 2011
Opening Wednesday, February 23

This exhibition examines the impact and history of bigotry and injustice, and inspires conversation about the choices we can make every day to foster civic engagement, tolerance and mutual understanding in our communities. While the exhibition will open its doors on February 17, the official opening will be on Wednesday, February 23, 2011.

Choosing to Participate is part of a national initiative, created by Facing History, aimed at encouraging young people and adults to think deeply about the importance of participating in a democratic society, and to consider the consequences of action and inaction. One of the highlights will be “Upstanders: Portraits of Courage,” featuring photographs and stories celebrating Washington-area individuals or groups who were nominated and selected for the exhibition based on their having taken a stand on behalf of others, be it a small or large act of courage or kindness. Choosing to Participate has visited Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Memphis since 1998, and in each city, the Upstanders are local residents.

"Choosing to Participate is a catalyst for conversation about civic participation in our community, our nation, and across the globe,” says Margot Stern Strom, Facing History’s founder and executive director. “The exhibit reflects our mission to help students think deeply about what democracy means and what it asks each of us. Our young people are among the best moral philosophers, and by engaging in Choosing to Participate, they learn how to confront the moral decisions they face each day and develop the skills to build an inclusive community.”

The Walmart Foundation is the national sponsor of Choosing to Participate’s current five-city tour that began in Cleveland and will move to Memphis, New York, and Chicago after its Washington stay. To learn more, visit walmartfoundation.org.

Facing History and Ourselves is an international educational and professional development organization whose mission is to engage students of diverse backgrounds in an examination of racism, prejudice, and antisemitism in order to promote the development of a more humane and informed citizenry. By studying the historical development of the Holocaust and other examples of genocide and mass violence, students make the essential connection between history and the moral choices they confront in their own lives.The positive impact of Facing History on teachers and students has been documented in more than 90 studies over the last three decades.

For more information, visit facinghistory.org and watch a video at
facinghistory.org/video/face-it.

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