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Robert R Moton Museum Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, History Museums

Mission: The Robert Russa Moton High School, now a National Historic Landmark and museum, preserves and constructively interprets the history of Civil Rights in Education, specifically as it relates to Prince Edward County, and the leading role its citizens played in America’s transition from segregation toward integration. Moton strives to promote dialogue and advance positions that ensure empowerment within a constitutional democracy.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 15,000

Programs: The robert russa moton museum is a repository for historically significant materials that record prince edward county's thirteen year struggle to achieve civil rights in education. The Moton Museum permanent exhibit Moton School Story: Children Of Courage shares with audiences the courage and sacrifice of local citizens as they fought for equality in the field of public education. The Moton Museum also offers a number of quality public programs for audiences of all ages. Some of our signature program offerings include our Moton Community Prayer Breakfast, C.G. Gordon Moss Lecture in American History, Moton Community Banquet, Barbara Johns Youth Leadership Summit, Moton Author Series, Barbara Johns Day Commemoration, and the L. Francis Griffin Summit. The museum also offers a number of digital programs to meet the needs of our K-12 and group audiences.

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Moton Museum offers the the world an opportunity to learn the true story of the school closing in Prince Edward County in America and the impact it had on black students and families during a pivotal period in our nation. It is an incredibly moving experience to walk through the Moton Museum reliving this history beginning with the walk out staged by the courageous 16-year old, Barbara Johns and weaving through the years of court cases fought by the NAACP and a movement to reopen schools led by Rev. L. Francis Griffin, Sr. As a family it takes on a very personal note for the Griffins by so accurately telling the level of dedication our father gave to the struggle of the re-opening of the public schools. The closing of public schools had been an untold story for many years and now Moton offers the opportunity to educate many. Moton Museum not only tells this historical narrative on the school closing but acts as a refuge for inclusiveness by opening its doors to many diverse community activities. It has become the link that brings reconciliation to a community that was splintered for so many years. The Moton Museum’s staff is very friendly and eager to welcome all. A visit to the Moton Museum is an experience you should definitely include in your life. You will not regret it!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I was a student at Longwood University, I was fortunate enough to be shown some of the early plans for the Moton Museum project. I remember sitting in the open auditorium, watching the video of Barbara Johns and the courageous students whose story is so intimately intertwined with the Civil Rights Movement. The museum hadn’t been completed at the time, but I could tell from the care and dedication from those involved that something special was coming. I have taken many tours of the museum since its completion and each time I learn something more important and more powerful. I cannot stress the importance of the stories that are told within and cannot more strongly recommend a visit.

Jennifer Giordano K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Moton Museum is an important piece of the history of Prince Edward County. It serves as an educational tool to students, teachers, visitors, new residents, etc..
The museum and it's staff also play a huge part in our community. They are invested, they participate, they share their resources, they serve as voices in leadership, They are necessary to our county's big picture.

Jessica R.10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Moton Museum was a great place to volunteer and I learned so much about the history of Farmville and the influential role it played during the Civil Rights movement. I wish more people could visit and learn about this moment in history!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Moton Museum is a gem in our community. It has brought such healing to many. I especially love the Moton Community Prayer breakfasts. Each month, prior to Covid, community members say prayers: for the community, the children, the teachers, the police officers, the sick, etc. It is very moving. People from all walks of life say the prayers. It is the most heartfelt and inspirational service. A free breakfast is served, and it starts each month off on a positive note. I also think that the Moton story should be a part of every Virginia child's education. As every fourth grader usually goes to Williamsburg, every fifth grader should visit Moton.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am not a native Virginian, but I have been involved with the Moton Museum for over 10 years. Through my involvement I have learn more details about both Virginia and American history as it relates to the civil rights movement in the United States.

Born in 1957 in the deeply segregated state of Florida, I am a product of and was greatly affected by the injustices of some and courage of others during that period of time. What I did not know was that there were similar stories playing out across the southern part of the country. I have often told many that I am getting a graduate degree in the history of civil rights struggles and issues through my involvement with Moton, including the learning about the sacrifices and struggles endured by many in Farmville Virginia.

Now that I have learned the story, I am sharing it with others, including individuals who were born and raised in Virginia because, like in Florida, public schools often ignored the stories like Moton's and focused on only one side of the story. I have found that Moton has focused on all sides of the story. More people, inside of and outside of Virginia, need hear and digest the Moton story.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My niece is a very reluctant student. When she learned about the story of the students in FarmVille, I was so excited to tell her there was a museum to visit. The story came alive for her, and now she has aspirations to be a historian. The staff was accommodating and knowledgeable!

1 Brandon B.6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Moton has such an amazing history for both Longwood and the town of Farmville. Longwood students utilize the Moton for many learning opportunities, especially in the current times we are in right now. Most recently, the student government association held the annual senate retreat there to have a workshop on diversity and inclusion and how to use those practices in everyday leadership. It was the perfect place to learn more about what is necessary to have a progressive future!

1 Sasha Trent J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Moton Museum has helped promote awareness of the long lasting effects the school closing in PE County has had on local families. Such attention spurred a scholarship which helped relieve the financial burden of early childhood education at the Andy Taylor Center . My family was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship. The scholarship will promote diversity and inclusion for generations to come.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to take my graduate students to the Moton Museum for the last 10 years. The story that evolves as one walks through the exhibit powerfully engages the visitor in the Moton history and its vital link to the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case and the Civil Rights movement. My students have left their visit with new knowledge about this critical period in our state's and nation's history, but, more importantly, with a new awareness of how policies and practices had a profound impact on the community.

JoEllen P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love taking my sociology college students to the RR Moton Museum. Students get to meet people who experienced part of history that most Americans try to forget and that my students have mostly never heard about. Being exposed to this kind of living history and the museums exhibits transforms their ideals about race in American, equality, and public education. The Moton staff are always accommodating of tours and organizing events for my students. I feel so fortunate to have this museum, the museum staff, and the involved community members so near to my university.

2 Josh B.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Moton Museum opened my eyes to the story all around me and has given me invaluable insight into why my community is the way it is today. This place is special and vital to understanding race in America.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have helped Moton Museum with print design and marketing for many years and also recommended it to many friends. The exhibits are exceptional, as are its educational offerings.

But its influence goes well beyond that of a typical museum. It truly excels at building community, especially important in our area with its difficult history. The Museum’s annual banquets, prayer breakfasts, and various forums bring people together from all backgrounds and foster real and deep conversations.

I remember a banquet many years ago where I happened to be sitting with two older couples who went to our local schools at the time of the closing, 1960-1964. One couple had been at the white school, one at the black school. Their conversation was amazing as they shared very different experiences and clearly grew in understanding and appreciation of one another.

Over the years I’ve had many similar conversations at many different events, including a long talk with the family of Barbara Johns, the star of the museum, as it were, who led the student strike back in the 1950s. Though she passed on in 1991, some of her family members still attend museum events and are a delight to talk to, providing firsthand context for much of what you see in the exhibits.

As a Moton director used to say, our community has two school systems and two colleges, all four of which went from segregation to integration along various paths, but which today celebrate diversity. The Museum doesn’t pass judgment but simply continues the hard work of reconciliation. It’s a warm and inviting place to attend.

Though I didn’t grow up in this area and can’t relate directly to the struggles experienced here, I have developed a deep appreciation for the hard work and perseverance of so many people to bring us into the light, as it were. And Moton Museum plays a central role in that ongoing effort.

2 Jennifer C.19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have lived in the area for 13 years and this museum has continued to inspire me and the work that I do. I have enjoyed the updated exihibits that tell the story of the struggle for rights in education. In addition to the museum experience, I appreciate that the museum serves as location for community events such as a monthly community prayer breakfast, a lecture series, a jazz concert, and hosting online events such as "Fostering an Inclusive Classroom Climate in the Age of COVID-19".

2 Emily H.5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I frequently visited the Robert Russa Moton Museum, the museum built from the former all-African American high school in Farmville, for community events when I worked as a newspaper reporter.
The museum has hosted a number of inclusive and informative events ranging from a conference celebrating the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, to hosting a play about Robert Russa Moton High School student and activist Barbara Rose Johns and hosting events for the Virginia Children's Book Festival.
The Moton Museum, since the pandemic, publishes virtual interviews and podcasts, hosts resources for residents of the Farmville area, and continue to engage with educators and K-12 students K-12 through education programs.
The Moton Museum, more than any nonprofit I know, is for people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether participants are children or adults, the museum provides numerous resources that educate them about civil rights, and how the actions of students Robert R. Moton High School shifted an entire generation and changed the status quo.
Each time I have visited the museum or attended a virtual or in-person event, I learn something different. I learn about blatant and destructive actions done to people in the Farmville community due to racism, and learn about the people who, through remarkable acts of courage, advocate for justice and equity for the next generations.
Those who are most involved with the Moton Museum include former students or those who were directly involved with the fight for equal education in the 1950s or experienced the closure of public schools by Prince Edward County as the county's cowardly act of mass resistance in the 1960s.
The museum, a place to educate people of all ages, also stands as a reminder of the United States' racism in the past and in the current day, and provides a source of healing and hope that through courage and challenging the status quo, everyone could experience a just and equitable future.