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They Led the Way Exhibit Receives 2014 AASLH Award of Merit

Posted Jul. 28, 2014
enter photo description
Guests view the exhibition They Led the Way that tells
the stories of the eight students who desegregated Leon
County, Florida, public schools in the 1960s.

(Photo credit: David LaBelle)

Kent State University Professor Ann Schierhorn, Lecturer David LaBelle and Althemese Barnes, executive director at the John G. Riley Museum in Tallahassee, Florida, received an Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) in the 2014 Leadership in History Awards for their exhibit They Led the Way.

The Leadership in History Awards recognizes “achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history,” according to the AASLH.

They Led the Way chronicles the stories of eight students who desegregated public schools in Tallahassee in the 1960s.

The interactive exhibit features photography from LaBelle, director of the Kent State’s photojournalism program. Schierhorn and LaBelle collaborated with Barnes, who located several sources for the exhibit.

They Led the Way was the only Florida exhibit to win an award and the second award-winning exhibit for Kent State, alongside the May 4 Visitors Center exhibits.

“The winners represent the best in the field and provide leadership for the future of state and local history,” according to the AASLH.

The association will present Schierhorn, LaBelle and Barnes with the award at a banquet during the 2014 AASLH Annual Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Friday, Sept. 19.