On April 20, 2013, board members Leonora Barron, Greg Ramirez, and Keith Rice welcomed Professor Mark Wild and his “Public History and Community Engagement” students to the Museum of Social Justice. The board members introduced the students to the history of La Plaza UMC and its service to the community over the last 100 years. The Museum of Social Justice was born out of La Plaza’s commitment to social justice and public service. The tour consisted of a presentation of a short documentary on the Church and Museum produced by Board President Walter Dominguez, a tour of the Church sanctuary, and an introduction and presentation by Leonora, Greg, and Keith, followed by a question and answer session. To better understand the processes of how institutions like the Museum emerged, and the skills required to make them work, the students will conduct oral history interviews with board members. The results of the interviews and proposals created by the class will be available on our website in May 2013.
On June 10, 2013 board members Walter Dominguez, Shelley Morrison, Betty Huebner, Greg Ramirez, and Keith Rice attended a presentation by “Public History and Community Engagement” students on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles. The students presented proposals for public history projects and exhibitions, based on their interviews with our board members. The board members were very impressed by the ability of the students to “think outside of the box.” They discovered extremely creative ways to connect neighborhoods from the Valley to Watts through their past participation in social justice movements. We have provided audio clips from the presentations, so that you can experience the sense of pride we feel for these exceptional history students who will be graduating from CSULA this month.