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RPS Alumni Featured in Local Civil Rights Exhibit

Growing Up in Civil Rights Richmond: A Community Remembers, an oral history and photography exhibit at the University of Richmond, shares the lives of Richmond residents who grew up during the civil rights movement, many of whom were Richmond Public School students at the time.

Nearly all of the exhibits’ 30 participants are RPS alumni, including Mark Person, George Wythe High School Class of 1974.

“This exhibit has created dialogue throughout the city with more and more people willing to share their own experiences during the civil rights movement,” said Mr. Person. “The RPS alumni who are featured in the exhibit faced many challenges but persevered through the times and have blazed a path for current and future students.”

The exhibit is a showcase of portraits taken by local photographer, Brian Palmer, and interviews conducted by Dr. Laura Browder, a professor of American Studies at the University of Richmond.

“It was inspiring to interview students who graduated from Richmond Public Schools during a period of intense turmoil and change,” said Dr. Browder. “I heard from many who felt that their lives had been profoundly shaped by the teachers and staff at their high schools.”

Another one of those students is Reverend Robin Mines, who was also a part of the desegregation of George Wythe High School.

“The Growing Up Civil Rights Richmond project was a liberating act giving hope to the efforts of racial reconciliation,” said Rev. Mines. “The University of Richmond created a safe and welcoming environment to share a painful history and to discuss solutions to make us a better nation. The exhibit serves to connect people who are hopeful and those who are committed to making the world a better place.”

Growing Up in Civil Rights Richmond is on display until May 10 at the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art at the University of Richmond. For more information visit,