Students from Aiken High School tour the Men of Chance exhibit. Photo by Dan Yount

Students from Aiken High School tour the Men of Chance exhibit. Photo by Dan Yount

By Carole Cutter Hawkins 

Women’s Alliance 

Women’s Alliance Inc. recently arranged for young people from Cincinnati Public Schools to tour the amazing Men of Change exhibit at Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.  Groups of students representing 11 High Schools arrived by buses at the center and were greeted with a welcome from the Women’s Alliance members, then led on the tour by a center docent.   

Women’s Alliance members hosting the high school, tours of the Men of Change exhibit are: First row, from left, Kandi Staples, Carole Cutter Hawkins, Camille Haamid, Merri Gaither Smith, Christina Wadkins, Beverly Clayton and Gwen Wilder. Second row, from left, are Tonee Holland, Alisa Dortch, Carole Rigaud and JoAnn Phillips. Photo by Dan Yount

This extraordinary exhibit was a powerful articulation of accomplished Black men in various walks of life, which was inspiring, informative and provided the students an awareness of the possibility that their dreams, too, could be realized.  There were 230 students, with 25 schools being represented.

Edna Keon, a docent leader at the Freedom Center, talks to students prior to the tour of the Men of Change exhibit. Photo by Dan Yount

Although the Men of Change was the focus of the tour, the students were able to visit other outstanding exhibits as well.

Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and John Coltrane from a collage of the Men of Change exhibit. Photo by Dan Yount

Following the tours, the students and chaperones were escorted to a lunch area where lunch was provided by the Women’s Alliance members.   

Spider Martin’s 1965 Selma March confrontation is featured in the exhibit. Photo by Dan Yount

The students were very excited, well mannered and impressed by the experience as evident by the various conversations shared afterward.

Students gather to hear about some of the exhibits. Photo by Dan Yount

The Women’s Alliance members said they give special thanks officials at the Freedom Center and Cincinnati Public Schools, and center docents for making this educational and inspirational visit possible. 

Family portrait from Men of Change exhibit. Early 1900. Photographer unknown. Photo by Dan Yount

The Men of Change exhibit was open from August 17 to December 1.

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