Godwin-Ternbach Museum Introduces Waging Peace: 100 Years of Action Exhibit

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The exhibition titled “Waging Peace: 100 Years of Action,” opened on Feb. 1 in the Queens College Godwin-Ternbach Museum.

This traveling exhibition will be on display at the museum until March 17 and was organized in 2015 by the American Friends Service Committee, a not-for-profit Quaker organization.

Historical artifacts such as posters, lithographs, letters, videos and photography are displayed from a timeline of when Queens College was founded in 1937 up to 2018. The exhibit takes up both the first and second floor of the museum, addressing the problems of prisons, discrimination, just economies and immigrant rights.

Letters and pins were also donated from Queens College alumni and information from the Queens College library archives from the 1960’s was also used in the exhibition, according to co-director Beita Helgesen. “Waging Peace” is “celebrating things that have been going on in the campus at the time,” Helgesen stated.

“It was humbling to see how hard people worked to fight the injustice and how important it was to Queens College history,” Elizabeth Hoy, another co-director of the Godwin-Ternbach Museum who helped put the exhibition together, said.  “Overall it is a hopeful exhibition and putting this together shows how we are moving forward and towards peace.”

Old photographs of Queens College students reacting to the killing of anti-war protesters at Kent State and Jackson State college can be found in the exhibit, along with Martin Luther King Jr.’s 11 page letter from Birmingham Jail in 1963.

Throughout the exhibit it also shows how students from Queens College were leaving to join World War II, along with how the college was serving those students who left for the war.

There is also information on the civil rights movement and how to end discrimination. Rules made up by the South African Ministry of Justice issued by the “interest of justice” of the Anti-Apartheid movement can also be found at the exhibit.

“This exhibit is very informative and makes me feel a lot of emotions,” Cynthia Henriquez, a sophomore majoring in Design, said while visiting the exhibition. “It is overwhelming because all of this was a reality for many people.”

“The videos are very touching. I almost cried watching the different types of abuse and discrimination people went through,” she added.

Every Wednesday the museum hosts a guided tour during free hour in which students can ask questions about the exhibit. The museum is open Monday through Wednesday from 11 am to 6 pm, Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm, and Saturday from 11 am to 5 pm.

Students that visit the exhibition can also share their ideas on “how to wage peace” by putting their thoughts on a post-it supplied by the museum and have it added to the exhibition.

“Showcasing this exhibition is telling an important story to people who come to visit the museum,” Helgesen said. “We encourage people to come and share their ideas.”

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