Desegregation of The W

"Empathy is the art of stepping into the shoes of another person and looking at the world from their perspective. It's about understanding the thoughts, the feelings, the ideas and experiences that make up their view of the world."

Roman Krznaric, TEDX Talk “How to Start an Empathy Revolution”

Director’s Note:
As we worked on this project, a dual purpose for this exhibition emerged. The first purpose, of course, is to mark an important milestone in our university’s history. Being able to tell the story of desegregation at our university through the voices of those who affected this social change has been a dynamic, nontraditional approach to examining history. This is not a third party interpretation of events or an administration’s point of view. Instead, it is a glimpse into memories of those who wove the fabric of our history.

Preparing the excerpts from the various oral histories for display led to the second purpose of this exhibition—that of fostering empathy. The voices in these histories speak of varied experiences and feelings. All are truths. By displaying these accounts of the same shared history, we hope to inspire understanding and compassion.

- Dr. Beverly Joyce
Director, Mississippi University for Women Galleries