Courtesy of MCT
Though it has been six years since Rosa Parks’ passing, a new generation of children has taken the chance to illustrate her contribution to civil rights in the 2012 Rosa Parks Children’s Art Exhibit.
Throughout February the Ohio Statehouse, in partnership with the Central Ohio Transit Authority and others, are presenting the exhibit, which was started seven years ago, to honor Parks during Black History Month by showing how children in kindergarten through third grade would change things for the better.
Belinda Taylor, the community relations manager for COTA, along with others, asked students, “If you had a chance, if you had a chance to change the world, what would you do?”
The children responded by showing their answers through art. Taylor said they have been supplied with “beautiful artwork.”
“(The exhibit has) grown from just being on stage at the event to a traveling exhibit, which this year is the biggest and the best,” Taylor said.
The event came about in 2005 when COTA decided that Parks would be the perfect honorary fit because her story went hand-in-hand with the bus system.
“It all happened on a bus and we were looking to recognize and celebrate her,” Taylor said.
They followed it by going to a local elementary school to “share the celebration.”
The tribute has grown over the years and Taylor said she knows the importance of legacies like the one Parks left behind. She said the effect Parks had on people was amazing and it goes to prove that you don’t need “a posse or a big to-do.”
Taylor said she hopes everyone can take away one thing.
“That one little change you can make on your own could benefit or help make this world a better place,” she said.
Hannah Liebreich, a fifth-year in sociology, said although she is probably too busy to attend the event, it is a great educational tool for students.
“It’s a great way to get kids to interact with historic things,” Liebreich said.
Corbyn Saum, a third-year in political science, said he would likely attend the event if he didn’t have to combat with school, but “it is something that should be done regardless.”
The Ohio Statehouse is open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.