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Education for Liberation - Historical Exhibition on Rosenwald Schools

  • 04/01-05/30
  • Zageir Hall - Lobby

The Rosenwald Schools, created in the early 20th century by Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald to educate African-American children, 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 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. 

In a related event, on April 6 at 4:30 p.m., the documentary Rosenwald, written, produced and directed by Aviva Kempner, will be screened at the Reuter Center, a presentation of OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville as part of its More than a Month series. These programs, organized by OLLI’s Inclusion Committee, are designed to provide meaningful ways to understand and respond to the issues of race.

For more information about the Education for Liberation exhibition and opening panel, contact Deborah Miles at or 828.232.5024.

Contact for this event:

  • Center for Diversity Education
  • 828.232.5024