photo of Upward Bound students at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

By learning about what happened in the past, students can utilize these lessons and the resilience of persecuted populations to help positively shape their own futures and society as a whole.
On Sunday, April 30th, the students of MSU Upward Bound had the opportunity to visit the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. These beautiful museums specialize in retelling the stories of two important populations in our history. It was a heavy day filled with critical lessons regarding diversity and how to combat racial and ethnic discrimination.

At the Holocaust Memorial Center, students were given a guided tour throughout the museum. Different displays and videos helped to remind students of the unforgettable events that occurred during World War II. Although the museum itself was slightly overwhelming, the students were encouraged to think about how they could help eradicate discrimination that is still so prevalent in our world today. The tour stressed that it is “up to us” to use our voices and make a difference in the world so that history does not repeat itself. Upward Bound students left this museum with the intentions of accepting people for who they are, no matter what ethnic background they come from.

“MSU Upward Bound brings in a lot of different people from a lot of different races, and makes it easier for them to communicate and open up to one another,” Upward Bound student Damian Garza said, after viewing the Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The day’s theme of racial discrimination did not stop at the Holocaust Memorial Center. Upward Bound students then proceeded to visit the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Here, they continued to relive history through the eyes of another heavily targeted, yet influential ethnic group in our society. Often a topic that many people have a hard time confronting, the slave trade was a wrongdoing that the Museum of African American History explains in great detail. At many points throughout the guided tour, students were surprised and saddened to hear about the great sufferings that occurred many years ago. Learning about these tragic events; however, came with great opportunity to learn that people need to treat one another as equals.

“I wasn’t expecting this trip to be so eye opening,” Upward Bound student Christopher Loring said, after visiting the African American History Museum, “The people who went through all of that suffering still came out wanting to do better and get better.”

Although the day was filled with some hard to accept historical facts, students enjoyed learning about important world history. Lessons surrounding how to combat racial and ethnic discrimination will hopefully stick with the students as they approach their adult lives. By learning about what happened in the past, students can utilize these lessons and the resilience of persecuted populations to help positively shape their own futures and society as a whole.