I Am the Future showing at the Figge - After Action Report
On Thursday, January 11, 2024, over 80 people braved the cold evening to see our civil rights film I Am the Future: Standing on the Shoulders of the Past and to hear our Legacy Panel. The Figge Art Museum in Davenport was the perfect host for our event!
We were honored to have MacArthur Cotton from Kosciusko, Mississippi, a veteran of the civil rights movement in Mississippi, as our guest. He was one of the young organizers to help with the Freedom Riders campaign in 1961. Avery Pearl, Assistant Director of TMBC at the Lincoln Center and our young film star Abdur Howard, who stepped in to fill in for Aubrey Barnes, were also part of our Legacy panel. We were so proud to have such a diverse group across multiple generations to discuss civil rights!
Allison Ambrose did a wonderful job as facilitator for the panel discussion and question and answers. Each of our younger panelists did a great job of suggesting how to get young people involved in civil rights issues and voting. Mr. Cotton made the point that what they did in the 1960s to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 won’t work today. But our country is faced with some of the same threats to our democracy as the 60s and those will affect us all. Today we need to empower people to vote at every level of government, treat each other with respect and work together for change. What a great lead off for the Dr. Martin Luther King celebrations in the following days.
Read all about our I Am the Future film stars here. Read the details of our Legacy Panel here.
We were also happy to have youth from Project Renewal and the Youth Advocate Program (YAP) of the NAACP Davenport.
Ann McCluskey, PACG Treasurer reported, "I asked people what they thought about the event as they walked out. To a person, they were moved by it. It was a special night."
PACG Board Member Loxi Hopkins said, "People I talked to thought it was amazing. I felt sure the whole line of people sitting in front of me were principles or teachers. People spent a lot of time at the displays."
Reflecting on the event over the past few days, attendee (and mother of Legacy Panel member Abdur Howard), Daneca Walker said, "The response to a question directed to the Legacy Panel pointed out that activism needs to start with the young people. We can’t allow the normalization of unfair and inequitable treatment. We must teach our children to guard against this. Inequitable treatment begins to desensitize them to the issue of humans being treated humanly. Larger cities have more opportunities for the exposure. In smaller areas like ours the opportunities exist, one just has to be more intentional in their search. As adults, we move about this unforgiving world praying that each of our interactions are genuine and filled with positivity, but we are also smart enough to know that that notion isn’t realistic. Children interact with adults believing that whether the interaction was good or bad it must be okay because they are adults. The trust factor plays such a huge role. Diversity, equity, equality and inclusion are terms that young people can easily comprehend as individual terms, but society has difficulty understanding them collectively as they apply to humanity. They all equate to activism and civil rights - to Human Rights."
Thank you to our committee members Allison Ambrose, Ann McCluskey, Caryn Unsicker, Loxi Hopkins, Susan Leuthauser, Rael Slavensky, and Alta Price. PJ Slobojan for helped with registration and Jeannie Price worked on our graphics. Thanks to Rael and Glenda for the pictures.
Thanks to our co-sponsors Figge Art Museum, WQPT-Quad Cities PBS and WVIK-Quad Cities NPR. Our event was also made possible by the generosity of the following organizations, individual and anonymous donors:
100 Black Men of the Quad Cities, ASWAS, Inc, Diocese of Davenport, Friends of MLK Interpretive Center, Iowa State Representative Ken Croken, Metrocom NAACP #4019, Northwest Bank and Trust, One Human Family-QCA, Quad Cities Interfaith, Tracy and Ben Singleton and Smart Lexus of the Quad Cities.