Exhibit Researcher – Modern Protest and Social Justice

Site:  African American Museum of Iowa (AAMI)

The African American Museum of Iowa’s mission is to preserve, exhibit, and teach the African American heritage of Iowa. We are located in Cedar Rapids, IA near the NewBo City Market. www.blackiowa.org

Project: Exhibit researcher – Modern Protest and Social Justice

The African American Museum of Iowa’s 2020 temporary exhibit will be based on the themes of modern protest and social justice as they relate to minorities and people of color. We want to look at the modern voices of protest that have arisen from recent social justice and civil rights issues and the ways in which protest takes form. The exhibit will potentially begin in 1991 with the televised Rodney King beating and subsequent riots in Los Angeles and move through time to contemporary issues of voter suppression, immigration, sexism and the MeToo movement, LGBTQ issues, sports protest, police violence that created the Black Lives Matter movement, etc. How is various media that have been used as forms of protest for generations (art, music, literature, etc.), now influenced by current methods of seeing/learning about social injustices (social media, cell phone cameras, internet)? How do these methods aid in a broader social awareness and a call to action?

The role of the researcher is to begin preliminary primary and secondary research on what protest and social justice means in modern day America. Finding examples in the state of Iowa are also important to provide a local tie. The AAMI is in the early concept stage of developing this exhibit. Therefore, the scope of the topic is flexible. The researcher will engage in discussions and brainstorming sessions with the Curator to attempt to focus the scope of the exhibit, develop ideas, and outline the process.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop a 500-word narrative to be used for granting opportunities.
  • Conduct preliminary research and develop bibliography.
  • Work with the Curator regularly to discuss findings and brainstorm ideas.
  • Develop a working outline.
  • Help to identify potential images, videos, audio, etc. for use in the exhibit, including from local and state sources.

Qualifications and Skills Preferred:

  • Experience with primary and secondary research
  • Knowledge of Iowa history (preferred but not required)
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively

Supervisor: Felicite Wolfe, Curator