Fred Shell, president of the DTE Energy Foundation, is excited about the new Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University.
The DTE Energy Foundation donated $250,000 in the form of a challenge grant to fund the expansion of the new museum home, located in the Ferris Library for Information Technology and Education (FLITE). The new $1.3 million, 3,300 square foot museum will display more of the 9,000-piece collection of artifacts in a way that strengthens educational outcomes. The DTE Energy Foundation is pleased to be a partner in this effort. Shell said that he believes the museum makes an important contribution to the discussion of progress and development throughout Michigan.
“We feel it is vitally important for all Michigan residents to continue to address issues that divide us along racial and cultural lines,” Shell said. “While some of the images may be disturbing, we believe the exhibit can go a long way to encourage a broader dialogue about the ‘isms’ that impact our community.”
The Thursday, April 26 grand opening begins with a reception and ceremony at 10 and 11 a.m., respectively, in the Williams Auditorium lobby before the scene shifts to the Rankin Student Center. A “Conversation with David Pilgrim” is set for 1 p.m. in the Art Gallery. Pilgrim, the university’s vice president for Diversity and Inclusion and the museum’s founder and curator, will be followed at 2 p.m. by a “Conversation with Jon McDonald,” a professor at Ferris’ Kendall College of Art and Design, who painted the “Cloud of Witnesses” mural in the new museum. Festivities conclude with “Act of Racism,” a performance presented by a group from Grand Valley State University, beginning at 4 p.m. in the Rankin Student Center Centennial Dining Room.
Admission is free for all events, and museum tours will be conducted from 1 to 5 p.m. as the dream of the museum is now a reality.
DTE Energy is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan, MichCon, a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan and other non-utility, energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, coal and gas midstream, unconventional gas production and energy trading. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com and at twitter.com/dte_energy.