Historical photo of Julius Rosenwald with students at a Rosenwald school
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Rosenwald - Documentary Screening and Discussion

  • 04/06
  • 4:30 pm-6:00 pm
  • Reuter Center

The documentary Rosenwald will be screened at 4:30 p.m. on April 6 in the Reuter Center by OLLI at UNC Asheville as part its More Than A Month series. The screening will be followed by a discussion of Rosenwald schools.

The series is organized by OLLI's Inclusion Committee, which promotes inclusion of people from diverse backgrounds in all OLLI programs and partners with people from diverse backgrounds to offer culturally rich programs, activities and events. The committee has planned “More Than a Month” programs to address issues of race and inclusion locally and nationally, with the understanding that we want to address these issues more than once a month. These programs are designed to provide meaningful ways to understand and respond to the issues of race that continue to divide us and to define our civic and political discourse. 

The Rosenwald Schools, created in the early 20th century by Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald to educate African-American children, also will be commemorated with an exhibition, Education for Liberation, in the Zageir Hall Lobby, April 1-May 30, with viewing hours weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The exhibition and related events are free and open to everyone.

Some 5,000 Rosenwald Schools were built, primarily in the racially segregated South including Western North Carolina, at a time when public schools for black children were severely underfunded. Booker T. Washington, the African-American leader and president of the Tuskegee Institute, collaborated in starting the schools with Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, part-owner and president of Sears, Roebuck and Company, who provided seed money. Black communities also made significant financial contributions, raising millions of dollars for school construction.

On April 5, the birthday of Booker T. Washington, an opening reception for the Education for Liberation exhibit will be held at 6 p.m. Asheville resident Cheryl Johnson, who worked with UNC Asheville’s Center for Diversity Education to create the exhibition, will discuss Rosenwald Schools as part of a 7 p.m. panel with Oralene Simmons and Anita White, also of Asheville, who attended Rosenwald schools in this region. 


Contact for this event:

  • OLLI - Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville
  • olli@unca.edu
  • 828.251.6140