Sunday, April 14, 2002
Free museum day draws thousands
Celebration of diversity marks riots' anniversary
By Susan Vela, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Forming a circle by linking their pinkie fingers, 11 children and adults worked together Saturday to pass around a hula hoop at the Cincinnati Museum Center.
They twisted their entire bodies as Jenna Yuenger, a trainer for the Cincinnati-based Center for Peace Education, shouted encouragement.
Help each other out! You can do it! she said. She cheered for the group as they got the job done.
Rock stars! You guys are rock stars!
The center that works year-round to promote peaceful conflict resolution hosted a free day of fun activities and workshops at the museum center to recognize last April's riots.
On this day last year, hundreds attended the funeral of Timothy Thomas, whose shooting death by a Cincinnati police officer sparked three nights of violence.
The free museum day attracted 4,000 grandparents, parents and children and was part of the center's long-planned Discover CommUnity: A Weekend Celebration of Peace and Diversity. Activities emphasized diversity appreciation.
This is what kids should be learning, said Carol Scott, an elementary school teacher from Highland Heights.
She participated in a workshop that focused on discipline and the importance of instilling discipline in children. The blame game just never solves things. It might work for a while but it just puts you from one bad situation to another, she said.
Eddie Stanley, 65, of College Hill, took her grandson Rashard Lawrence, 6, to the Discover CommUnity event and sat in on Ms. Yuenger's games session.
Rashard and several youngsters snapped their fingers and clapped their hands to help Ms. Yuenger imitate the sounds of a turbulent storm.
They also played a chair game that emphasized their common experiences - having two ears, swimming in an ocean, being at the museum center.
This is good for them to learn how to interact, Mrs. Stanley said. But it's going to take more than this.
Many museum attendants didn't participate in any of the workshops. Instead, they browsed through the center as they would on any other day.
But that didn't bother Vivienne Bross, the center's development director. The goal was to raise awareness, she said.
So much has been focused on the past. (But) I would like this event to be a catalyst for change, she said.
The way to really do that is through families and children.
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