Past Programs

“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”
― Maya Angelou

Japanese Internment

During World War II, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt authorized the internment of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans throughout the West Coast. About 10,000 of them relocated to other parts of the United States, however 110,000 men, women and children were sent to internment camps. Many were hastily relocated, leaving behind homes, belongings and businesses.

Museum Without Walls looks back on a time when US citizens were detained because they looked like the enemy. Our trip visits the heart of Seattle’s International District— the Wing Luke Museum, the Panama Hotel and Tea Room and the Japanese Community Baths. We ask trip participants to look closely at this dark part of our history and question how the actions of leaders decades ago are still affecting our world today.

Seattle’s Central District

Before there was grunge there was jazz. Seattle’s music scene began in the Central District, back in the 1920’s. This bustling Seattle neighborhood was a hotbed for jazz in the pre-war Northwest, nowhere more so than along Jackson and Yesler streets. During this time Seattle’s racial undertones divided the city and musicians of color could not play in the clubs downtown. Students in this Museum Without Walls program learn about how Ray Charles and Quincy Jones, among others, put Seattle on the musical map and how the racial divide in Seattle affected the Central District and those who lived in this vibrant part of the city.

Civil Rights Trip – History, Justice and Freedom

We explored powerful stories of the past and the present with a transformative trip through Georgia and Alabama. We worshiped at Ebenezer Baptist Church against the backdrop of Martin Luther King Jr.’s early days. We follwed in the footsteps of Rosa Parks as she put her non-violent training in action at the beginning of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. We heard from the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, Anniston and Selma. In Montgomery, the past informed our present as we looked into the issues highlighted in Bryan Stevenson’s ‘Just Mercy.’ Stevenson’s book lays out his work on the behalf of the wrongly incarcerated, inmates on death row without fair trial, children tried as adults  and others caught in the cruel world of  our judicial system. We visited with those working towards social justice at his organization, the Equal Justice Initiative, and contemplated how our history has grown into a world still fractured by racism.

“Fear and anger are a threat to justice. They can infect a community, a state, or a nation, and make us blind, irrational, and dangerous.”
― Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

The March on Washington – 50 Years Later

Museum Without Walls joined forces with five churches to delve deeply into racial reconciliation on the 50th anniversary of The March on Washington. With this iconic moment in our nation’s history as a backdrop we toured the District of Columbia hearing oral histories from civil rights leaders at the time. In the weeks leading up to this trip, participants came together to learn more about the March and were able to ask themselves — from Lincoln to King to Obama— are we living the dream today?

Civil Rights

From the historic actions of Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus to the march in Selma, where police attacked a crowd of peaceful demonstrators lead by Martin Luther King Jr., our American Civil Rights historical experience leads young people through some of the most tumultuous times in American history.

We call it our Multicultural Scholars Program and Museum Without Walls works with Sophomores and Juniors in both the Seattle Public School District and the Mercer Island School District. Students meet together for four weeks before taking a 10-day tour which highlights key civil rights sites in Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma, Alabama as well as Jackson, Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee.

Multicultural Scholars Program

Take 10 students from a Seattle inner city high school and 10 students from a Seattle suburban high school, put them together for a unique year-long project and you have the Museum Without Walls Multicultural Scholars Program. These students learn about Seattle, National Civil Rights history, and each other through a month of Saturday classes and anti-bias training.The program culminates in a 7 or 10-day tour of Civil Rights sites in Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi combined with oral histories from Civil Rights leaders.

Imagine visiting the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama and learning about the bombing that happened in 1963 from those who were there. Or visiting Selma, Alabama and hearing from the Freedom Riders. This experience emphasizes civil rights history, making it relevant for students today. Students then work together on a community service project when they return home. The students agree they likely wouldn’t have met had it not been for this one-of-a-kind experience.

If you would like to read student blogs from these trips, please click the links below:

Ireland: Reconciliation and Renewal

Museum Without Walls partnered with Seattle’s Bethany Presbyterian Church to explore the history and the impact of three decades of bloodshed and brutality in Ireland. The Northern Ireland conflict centered around religion, politics and ethnicity. In this trip, participants toured Dublin, Belfast, Derry and the Aran Islands, while exploring religious reconciliation and the challenges and opportunities for building peace. There was also the opportunity to learn about Celtic Christianity and monasticism.

Holocaust: Overview

The Holocaust, known as Shoah in Hebrew, was the systematic murder of 6 million Jews by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany. From January 30, 1933 to May 8, 1945 Jews in Europe faced harsh persecution that ultimately led to Hitler’s plan called the “Final Solution”— Hitler’s attempt to deliberately annihilate the entire Jewish population of Europe. In the end two-thirds of European Jewry and one-third of world Jewry were murdered during the Holocaust.

Museum Without Walls is committed to telling as many stories of Holocaust survivors as we can. From survivors to rescuers, hidden children and liberators and of course, memorial site visits. MWW programs include eyewitness accounts, city historical overviews, and historical education before, during and after the program.

If you would like to read student blogs from these trips, please click the links below:

Interested in Museum Without Walls current programs? View our Upcoming Programs page.