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WSU is hosting an exhibit on the Dockum sit-in, the Wichita Black story


9 hours 18 minutes written by Maeve Ashbrook

A traveling exhibit about a historic Wichita event has come to Wichita State University.

People, Pride & Promise: The Story of the Dockum sit-in is on display at the Cadman Art Gallery within the Rhatigan Student Centre. The RSC, WSU’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Storytime Village are setting up the exhibit.

“Many students said they didn’t know Wichita had this rich history for the civil rights movement, and they were very happy we took the initiative to be able to host it on our campus,” Interim Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion said Quang Nguyen.

The research collection highlights the 1958 Dockum sit-in in downtown Wichita. A group of black students sat at the Dockum Drug Store lunch counter every day for weeks until someone served them.

The sit-in was at the beginning of the civil rights movement, the first successful student-led lunch counter event. One of the participants, Dr. Galyn Vesey, created today’s exhibit.

“With all the racial injustices that have occurred in recent years and even down the generations, we want to make sure that students get an education about our social injustices,” Nguyen said.

The exhibition lasts until January. Nguyen said it is in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“We wanted to make sure it was accessible for all students to be able to log in, to be able to look, as they walk between classes, during their break and just to be able to peruse,” she said.

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion will also be hosting another exhibition at Cadman Art Gallery in late February for Black History Month. Nguyen said she hopes these programs inspire students.

“Being able to be active leaders and take action within your own communities … is very important,” Nguyen said.

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