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The Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) is supported in part by teh National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Illinois General Assembly (through the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency) as well as by contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.
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The Created Equal film set and public programs have been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging  Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Changing America is presented by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The traveling exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.



Martin Luther King, Jr. Moline Public Library Rock Island Public Library
Community Center 3210 41st Street 401 19th Street
630 7th Avenue Moline, IL 61265 Rock Island, IL 61201
Rock Island, IL 61201 309-524-2440 309-732-7323
309-732-2999 molinelibrary.com rockislandlibrary.org
March 24 through April 30 Changing America Traveling Exhibit
Moline Public Library Located on the library's second floor, this traveling exhibit is based on an original interactive exhibition developed by Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Saturday, March 29, 2:00 p.m. The Loving Story (film screening & discussion) led by Reverend Dwight Ford
Rock Island Public Library
  Loving Story cover Mildred and Richard Loving knew it was technically illegal for them to live as a married couple in Virginia because she was of Africian American and Native American decent and he was white. But they never expected to be woken up in their bedroom and arrested one night in 1958.
Tuesday, April 1, 6:30 p.m. Keynote Address: Still Moving: The 1960's Civil Rights Movement and Living History, presented by Dr. Paul Bushnell
Moline Public Library
  Dr. Bushnell will discuss his experience with sit-ins at segregated lunch counters in Nashville and his meeting with the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. at the founding of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.
Thursday, April 3, 7:00 p.m. Kindred by Octavia Butler Book Discussion led by Dr. Everett Hamner
Moline Public Library
  Butler's acclaimed science fiction novel is an exploratation of slavery through the eyes of a contemporary black woman who travels in time to the Antebellum South. Space is limited, registration is required. Visit the Moline Library or call 309-524-2470 to register.
Tuesday, April 8, 7:00 p.m. The Underground Railroad presented by Dr. Arthur Pitz
Moline Public Library It wasn't a railroad and it wasn't underground, but it had "conductors" and hiding places.  This area saw participants involved in aiding fugitive slaves escape to freedom. Dr. Pitz will discuss how much we know of this railroad in our vicinity, how it worked, and its significance. 
Wednesday, April 9, 7:00 p.m. Meals on Wheels: Great Migration Recipes Ride the Rails North presented by Donna Pierce (IHC Road Scholar)
Moline Public Library
  Between 1915 and the Civil Rights Movement in the 1970s, six million black people changed their address from the segregated and “separate but equal” Jim Crow South to the urban north.  Ms. Pierce will explore ties between this Great Migration and food, focusing on several migrated recipes such as smothered chicken, chitterlings, black-eyed peas, and peach cobbler.


Monday, April 14, 6:00 p.m. Slavery By Another Name film screening and discussion led by Dr. Christoper Whitt
Moline Public Library

Slavery By Another Name cover

Based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning book by  Douglas Blackmon, Slavery by Another Name tells the stories of men, charged with crimes like vagrancy, and often guilty of nothing, who were bought and sold, abused, and subjected to  sometimes deadly working conditions as unpaid convict labor.
Tuesday, April 15, 6:00 p.m. The Abolitionists (part 1 of 3) film screening and discussion led by Reverend Dwight Ford
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center
  Abolistionists cover The Abolitionists vividly brings to life the struggles of the men and women who led the battle to end slavery. This series puts a face on the anti-slavery movement through William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, Angelina Grimké, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown. Part 2 will be shown April 22, Part 3 will be shown April 29.


Wednesday, April 16, 6:30 p.m. Songs of the Civil Rights Movement presented by Chris Valillo
Moline Public Library

Award winning Illinois folksinger Chris Vallillo will perform pivotal songs from the music that inspired and sustained this landmark movement and discusses the impact of music to this most important social cause.

Monday, April 21, 6:00 p.m. Freedom Riders film screening and discussion led by Dr. Christopher Whitt
Moline Public Library

Freedom Riders cover

Freedom Riders tells the terrifying, moving, and suspenseful story of a time when white and black volunteers riding a bus into the Deep South risked being jailed, beaten, or killed, as white local and state authorities ignored or encouraged violent attacks.
Tuesday, April 22, 6:00 p.m. The Abolitionists (part 2 of 3) film screening and discussion led by Reverend Dwight Ford
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center


Tuesday, April 22, 6:30 p.m. Celebrating Langston Hughes presented by Coleman Harris, Dorian Byrd, and Shelli Moore Guy
Moline Public Library
  Poet and storyteller Shellie Moore Guy, musician and composer Coleman Harris, and dancer Dorian Byrd will collaborate to bring to life the words of one of America's greatest men of letters.
Wednesday, April 23, 7:00 p.m. Ida B. Wells: Our Fearless American Foremother presented by Dr. Nancy Huse
Moline Public Library

This first-person Chautauqua-style program enacts the words of Ida B. Wells-Barnett.  A discussion of Wells as an American foremother will link the present with her work and with ideas central to our history as Americans, such as freedom of speech and freedom of the press.

Saturday, April 26, 2:00 p.m. Keeping History Alive: Freedom Summer Experience 1964 presented by Patti Miller
Moline Public Library

Ms. Miller will discuss her work with Dr. Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1964 Chicago as part of the Project to End Slums. She is featured in the PBS American Experience film Freedom Summer.

Monday, April 28, 7:00 p.m. Civil Rights March in Davenport presented by Dr. Arthur Pitz
Moline Public Library On August 23, 1963, just five days prior to the March on Washington, a Civil Rights march took place in Downtown Davenport, followed by a rally in Davenport’s LeClaire Park Bandshell.  This march remains arguably the largest civil rights march in Iowa’s history.  Dr. Pitz will discuss what led to this march, how it connected with the D.C. march, and its long-term consequences in Davenport and Iowa.
Tuesday, April 29, 6:00 p.m. The Abolitionists (part 3 of 3) film screening and discussion led by Reverend Dwitght Ford
Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center


Dr. Paul Bushnell   Dr. Nancy Huse
Dr. Bushnell, Professor Emeritus, recently retired after 47 years of teaching history at Illinois Wesleyan University, including time spent as the Department Chair.  At Wesleyan , he taught one of the first African-American history courses in the country. Dr. Bushnell has presented at numerous conferences, as well presenting to various campus and community groups. In January 2014, he was awarded the Bloomington-Normal, Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Relations Award. Nancy Huse holds a PhD in English from the University of Chicago.  She has published numerous articles and delivered many presentations on American and children’s literature.  She was the Children’s Literature Association President, as well as a member of the Illinois Council of Teachers of English.  Her interests include children and young adult’s literature, African American literature, and women and gender studies.
Dorian Byrd   Patti Miller
A lifelong dancer, Ms. Byrd studied at Wayne State and Julliard, and earned a master’s degree from the University of Iowa.  She has taught and performed internationally, including in her current position  at Augustana College. Iowa Native Patti Miller was a student at Drake University when she  became involved in voter registration and working in community centers in Mississippi.  Patti shares her story of activism through public lectures, writing, and an upcoming documentary.
Reverend Dwight Ford   Donna Pierce
Rev. Ford has served as Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center since 2012.  He has a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and a Bachelor of Arts majoring in business management and leadership from Western Illinois University. He also served in the United States Marine Corps from 1989 to 1994 serving in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, and received several medals during his service.  He grew up in Rock Island and has been a featured speaker at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Service and Awards Celebration. Donna Pierce, former Assistant Food Editor and Test Kitchen Director for the Chicago Tribune, is a Chicago-based, contributing editor for Upscale Magazine and a columnist for the Chicago Defender. At the Tribune, she shared the first place award for “Best Newspaper Food Project in 2008 with Bill Daley, having won two first-place awards for her columns in previous years.
Shelli Moore Guy   Dr. Arthur Pitz
Quad City Poet Laureate Shellie Moore Guy serves as the Director of the Healing Waters Empowerment Project.  She has worked as a community organizer and creator of youth and artistic programs throughout the Quad Cities. Historian and Professor Dr. Arthur Pitz has taught extensively throughout the Quad Cities for over 40 years.  He received his PhD in U.S. History from Northern Illinois Unviersity.  In 2000, he was the first ever recipient of Black Hawk College’s Diversity Award and in 2009, was appointed guest curator by the Putnam Museum to create the exhibit Davenport’s Civil Rights Movement, 1945-1974.
Dr. Everett Hamner   Chris Valillo
Everett Hamner earned master's degrees at Johns Hopkins and Regent College (U of British Columbia) before a PhD at University of Iowa. His essays may be found in such journals as American LiteratureModern Fiction Studies, Religion and Literature, and Science Fiction Studies. Chris Valillo is a nationally acclaimed singer/songwriter and folk musician who makes the people and places of  “unmetropolitan” American come to life in song.  Performing on six-string and bottleneck slide guitars and harmonica, Vallillo weaves original, contemporary, and traditional songs and narratives into a compelling and entertaining portrait of the history and lifestyles of the Midwest.
Coleman Harris   Dr. Christopher Whitt
Pianist Coleman Harris has performed his blend of classical, New Age, and jazz music both locally and internationally.  He is an associate professor at Black Hawk College and earned his master’s degree in counseling education from Western Illinois University. A professor in the political science department of Augustana College since 2007, Dr. Whitt is one of the principal founders and contributing members of the school’s Africana Studies program.  He received his M.A. and  PhD from the University of Maryland, where he researched the impact of the racial wealth gap on Black political participation.  He currently teaches the course “Race, Wealth, and Inequality in American Politics” as well as courses on United States government, politics, and citizenship.

Film image credits:  The Loving Story. Photo by Grey Villet;  Slavery by Another Name: Jon Van Amber and Omni Studio; The Abolitionists: ©WGBH Educational Foundation/Antony Platt; Freedom Riders: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute/Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Moline Public Library | 3210 41st Street | Moline, IL 61265 | phone 309-524-2440