$250K Gift Sparks Inspiring Minds Science Exhibition

There comes a time when members of the Renaissance (MI) Chapter feel the need to create something bigger, leaving a legacy that will inspire minds for years to come. Ten years ago Renaissance (MI) chapter members challenged themselves to do something more—more fulfilling, more sustainable and more impactful.


Renaissance (MI) chapter charter member, Yvonne Rogers, and Past President, Lynn Weaver, shared an idea to give a generous gift over a period of several years to Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the world’s largest institution dedicated to the African American experience. Chapter members immediately sprang into action, working with the Charles H. Wright Museum’s Chief Operating Officer, Tyrone Davenport, and museum leadership to fund-raise and conceptualize a permanent science exhibition named, Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology. According to Davenport, the Renaissance (MI) chapter’s gift of $250,000 was the catalyst for the exhibition, sparking interest from other funders. Over time, the chapter helped make what started as just an idea, a reality.

The Charles H. Wright Museum held a soft opening of Inspiring Minds last fall with a private reception for Renaissance (MI) chapter members and select guests. The exhibition officially opened to the public on November 10, 2012. Inspiring Minds highlights trailblazers, contemporaries and careers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and is brought to life through interactive computer kiosks, a touchscreen video wall, hands-on activities and play areas teaching basic engineering concepts. The 1200 ft. exhibition focuses on African American women in science, black aviators, black inventors, medical ethics, and key historical figures including George Washington Carver. Since opening, thousands of local residents, especially student groups, and visitors to the city of Detroit, have taken the opportunity to experience this world-class, high-tech exhibition, due in large part to the Renaissance (MI) chapter’s goal to raise the bar and help create a legacy.

For more information on the Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology exhibition, please visit: http://thewright.org or call (313) 494-5800.

Inspiring Minds: African Americans in Science and Technology exhibition

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