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Ypsilanti District Library hosted the national traveling exhibit, The Power of Children, at YDL-Whittaker from January 28-March 16, 2019. 

The exhibit is dedicated to three children that changed history: Ruby Bridges, Anne Frank, and Ryan White. These children became the faces of some of the most intense struggles of the twentieth century, and their lives and stories continue to teach and inspire us.

This immersive exhibit transports visitors will be transported into the different historical moments where these children had an impact: the Holocaust in 1940s, the Jim Crow south in the 1960s, and the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s.

The exhibit will be open from now until March 16, 2019, in the in the YDL-Whittaker Community Room at any time the library is open. The library is also having a series of events related to The Power of Children. Recommended for adults and children ages 8 and older.

Ruby Bridges:

Ruby was the first African American child to attend an all-White school in New Orleans in 1960, after the landmark Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education outlawed school segregation. On six-year-old Ruby’s first day of school, and for many days after, she had to be escorted by guards past mobs of angry protesters. Attending school each day with her head held high, she became the face of school integration.

Anne Frank:

Millions of people around the world know the story of Anne Frank from the diary she kept while her family spent two years in hiding during the Nazi occupation. Her diary is the second most-read piece of nonfiction literature in the world and offers a unique window into a young girl’s life during the Holocaust. Anne’s words offer humanity and hope in a world of anti-Semitism, intolerance, and genocide.

Ryan White:

At the age of 13, Ryan was diagnosed with AIDS after receiving a blood transfusion. Despite being told he had 6 months to live,  he was determined to live life to the fullest. Instead, he was expelled from school when word got out about his diagnosis. Ryan fought back against ignorance and discrimination, all while trying to be a normal teenage boy, until his death at age 18. His public fight with HIV/AIDS reduced the stigma attached to the disease, helping advocates and patients seek better treatment.    

Exhibit Sponsors

This exhibition is made possible by NEH On The Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Power of Children: Making a Difference was organized by the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. It was adapted and toured by the Mid-America Arts Alliance.

Related programs are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Friends of the Ypsilanti District Library.