“The exhibit raises the voices of women of color as full participants in the movement to advance women and civil rights.”
—Janine Fondon, Guest Curator
“We are so happy to extend this popular exhibit—which was interrupted by our closure—so that more people can experience it.”
—Kay Simpson, President and CEO of the Springfield Museums
The Springfield Museums announces the extension of the popular exhibit—Voices of Resilience: The Intersection of Women on the Move—which was interrupted by the closure caused by the community effort to stem the spread of Covid-19. As the Museums prepare to reopen in cooperation with Gov. Baker’s Reopening Massachusetts plan, they are happy to include Voices of Resilience as an ongoing exhibition in the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts, through January 3, 2021.
Voices of Resilience, which features more than 70 women, celebrates the intersecting lives of women in Massachusetts and beyond who have changed the course of history. Through highlights of diverse “hidden figures” and narratives, this exhibition explores the collaborative and interconnected stories of social, educational, and cultural change as defined by women, women of color, and others on the move to a more inclusive and just world. The exhibit was created by Guest Curator Janine Fondon, Bay Path Assistant Professor and Chair of Undergraduate Communication, with the collective efforts of Project scholars Dr. Demetria Shabazz and Dr. Lucie K. Lewis.
As the nation and world stand together in support of dismantling systemic racism, Voices of Resilience speaks to centuries of work accomplished by women unwilling to accept the status quo and working often against the greatest odds to achieve success—or, at the very least, steps forward. “Voices of Resilience raises the voices of women of color as full participants of the movement to advance women and civil rights,” notes Guest Curator Janine Fondon. The Springfield Museums partnered with Fondon as a natural progression in their ongoing mission to make the museums relevant to all. “Bringing light to the many hidden histories of women who fought for change helps us all understand a more complete narrative of American history. The Museums value exploring these stories,” said Kay Simpson, President and CEO of the Springfield Museums.
Exhibition scholar and President of Amherst Media’s Board of Directors Dr. Demetria Shabazz said, “The exhibit presents an opportunity to learn about the dynamic ways that women, especially women of color in Western Massachusetts, have pushed passed challenges and created enduring legacies. She noted that Black women have always understood that the struggle is intersectional. “Like Mary Ann Shadd Cary, one of the first black female lawyers in the country, who fought for both the abolition of slavery and the right to vote,” Shabazz said. “In a time where African American struggles for equality have renewed energy due to the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the use of the vote as a means of correcting societal injustice has a deeper meaning.”
“It is an honor to be a part of this powerful exhibit,” Dr. Lucie K. Lewis said. “Remembering the shoulders on which we stand and discovering the spirit that guided their journey emboldens each of us to embrace the work that remains yet to be done.”
The exhibit also includes the support and guidance of Springfield Museums Acting Curator of Art Maggie North, Springfield Museums Curator of Library and Archives Maggie Humberston, and Power of Women editors Wayne Phaneuf and Joe Carvalho and others to complete the exhibit highlights. The exhibit will include reference copies of The Power of Women: Celebrating Women from Western and Central Massachusetts from the1600s to the Present Day, edited by Wayne E. Phaneuf and Joe Carvalho III (The Republican Heritage Book & Travel Series, 2018).
Voices of Resilience was created and presented in cooperation with the Springfield Museums and Bay Path University with collaborators including Encyclopaedia Britannica, United States Postal Service, The Republican Newspaper, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, the YWCA, NAMIC New England, Girls Inc. of the Valley, and the African American Female Professors, Arise for Social Justice, New England Public Media, and PAHMUSA (Pan African Historical Museum of the USA).