The Echo Project is inspiring people around the world to #rehabhate through education. Providing free community-building resources for educators and students is our top priority.
Education is at the heart of The Echo Project. An educated public is our best hope for a just, fair, healthy, and peaceful society for ALL.
The Echo Project (TEP) will house a museum and education center that celebrates diversity and empowers individuals to develop and strengthen community-building skills. Through robust educational programming, participants will study the history of racism, the struggle for civil rights, and the power bestowed on communities through tolerance, justice, and racial reconciliation. While the setting of the Echo Theater will provide the most powerful context for those who can visit, the online educational resource center and learning library will enable students, educators, and families across America to access meaningful materials and lessons before we even open our doors. The online resource center will enable TEP to fulfill our mission to challenge and overcome the fears that separate people, to tell the truth about our shared history, and to bring people together through a message of hope, faith, and reconciliation.
TEP is creating educational tools for K-12 and higher education that will enhance the visitor experience (both online and in-person) and provide resources to schools and organizations across America. These resources will provide community-building tools and research guides on topics including discrimination, prejudice, and the struggle for justice and freedom. Lesson plans, discussion forums, volunteer service projects, and book clubs will be incorporated into the curriculum for the movie BURDEN and its supporting book.
An online portal to store all curricular resources and supplementary materials at no charge for users will connect the experiences of Americans with the stories of injustice and redemption— and justice and hope— to empower individuals, communities, houses of worship, and companies/organizations to lead engaging workshops and utilize the museum exhibits online. The need to connect virtually has become even more critical as remote learning and working continues for many due to the pandemic. Students and educators are reaching out to TEP for support in their efforts to teach and have honest and courageous conversations about our subject matter. We have established an advisory board of leading educators and historians to support the development of exceptional programming. By studying the history of racism, the struggle for civil rights, and the power bestowed on communities through tolerance, justice, and racial reconciliation we will work together to build more just and safe communities for ALL. doors. The online resource center will enable us to fulfill our mission to challenge and overcome the fears that separate people, to tell the truth about our shared history, and to bring people together through a message of hope, faith, and reconciliation.
The ECHO Leaders Academy will be a program for college students and will emphasize leadership development through short-term fellowships that enable students to learn more about the history of civil rights; participate in conversations that demonstrate the power of dialogue, empathy, and understanding; and undertake community-driven service projects that promote social justice and racial reconciliation. The fellowships will also connect students with community leaders and businesses to learn how the business sector promotes diversity in the community and in their workforce.
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & INCLUSION TRAINING
Nonprofits, associations, schools, and corporations are struggling to keep up with the demand for better diversity, equity, and inclusion training. The Echo Project is developing new programs that will utilize the movie BURDEN and the supporting book to create training materials that participants are more likely to relate to and engage with as they work to build more just organizations.
The Echo Project will host outreach events to garner input on how the new Echo Theater can best serve and partner with broad and diverse communities. These discussions will occur through structured community forums. These forums will be guided by experienced, trained moderators who are involved in organizing for justice and education around race. These gatherings will also offer a positive space for community members to share their hopes and dreams for the future while exploring solutions for challenges facing South Carolina communities.
*These public in-person programs have been delayed due to the continuing pandemic
ORAL HISTORY INITIATIVE
Beginning in Laurens, South Carolina we will share the untold stories of many of our Echo Theater neighbors- giving a voice to stories that need to be heard. These very important stories have not been told on a state, national or global level before and without these voices, we can not grow a successful society. The opportunity to gather, record, and preserve the untold stories of those who have been so often overlooked and erased from history is a critical step in the healing process.
The inaugural oral history project, “The Burden of White Supremacy" will document and preserve how communities of color experience the trauma of racial hatred. These oral histories are a key part of the overall museum exhibition and will be made available to the public. Dr. Vernon Burton, Judge Matthew J. Perry, Jr. Distinguished Professor of History, Professor Computer Science, Clemson University, Clemson University, and Dr. Nicholas Gaffney, Director, Center for African American Studies at the University of South Carolina Upstate are leading the Historian Advisory Team overseeing this project.
Our community-informed Leadership Academy will offer budding leaders practical, effective instruction and support to build their civic engagement skills. The Echo Project’s Leadership Academy will foster activism in community members -- with a focus on youths -- through training in project management. We will aim, not only to show youths how to advocate for themselves and others, but to strengthen their own academic and financial endeavors and enrich their critical thinking skills and social-emotional development.