“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
— Desmond Tutu
The history of Museum Without Walls begins with the experiences of our Executive Director, Suzzanne Lacey. In 1994 as a young journalist with National Public Radio Suzzanne reported on the 30th anniversary bus tour of the Freedom Riders. Outside the Parchment State Prison in Mississippi Suzzanne found herself listening to emotional testimony of three civil rights activists. They spoke of harsh treatment after their arrest — forced to sleep on the cold prison floor, refused nourishment and facing severe retribution because of the freedom songs they sang. Suzzanne began to reflect on the importance of living history as an educational tool.
Three years later Suzzanne visited Auschwitz, a trip that would ultimately cement Museum Without Walls into being. She was unprepared for such a profound emotional reaction when she walked through the gates and first saw the empty buildings and barracks. In those moments Suzzanne knew these haunting stories needed to be told.
MWW has grown to offer similar opportunities to young people. To allow them to learn about the atrocities of the past and how to open a dialogue about history and hate and prevent an intolerant and racist future.
David Klemetson, Therapeutic Associates, Inc.
Angela Pearson, Microsoft Corporation
Yoko Shimomura, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Lynn Hyde, Educator
Nicole Czubin, Seattle Children’s
Lisa Bau-Elliott, Zulily
Allison Gazarek, Educator consultant
Museum Without Walls is proud to call these present and past organizations our partners:
- Mercer Island School District
- Seattle School District
- Holocaust Center for Humanity
- Wing Luke Museum
- Mercer Island Schools Foundation
- Rainer Rotary Foundation
- Mercer Island Rotary Club
- Rainier Beach Rotary Club
- University of Washington
- Seattle Pacific University
- Allied Arts Foundation
- Seattle University