In 2018, staff from Emory University’s Campus Life division began collaborating with students to document student activism at the school. Students worked to capture the scope of contributions from various student groups through archival research and through interviews with students, faculty, alumni, and people familiar with Emory’s history.
In 2019, Signature Design, in partnership with Nomad Studio, joined the team to assist with additional research and to organize input into a historical timeline from 1960 to present. The timeline covers not only important student activism at Emory, but also puts this activism in a national context focusing on civil rights, feminism, LGBTQ+ activism, Native American activism, Latinx activism, Asian American activism, and first-generation and low-income student activism.
Additionally, the design team is transforming the content into a visually striking, high-tech exhibit that will bring the timeline to life with historical and contemporary images, portraits, and stories from Emory’s change-makers, advocates, activists, and scholars across time. The exhibit’s design incorporates a touchscreen digital station that controls multiple digital displays. Users will be able to select the activist group they want to explore and the entire exhibit will digitally shift to show customized information. For instance, if a person selects “civil rights” and “Emory activism,” the displays will populate across time with visuals and information about civil rights activism at Emory. There will also be an option for users to leave comments and suggest missing events, which will allow the exhibit to evolve and grow over time.
Historical image courtesy of Emory University.