New innovative technology will be used to educate local schools about the historical involvement of Ohioans in the anti-nuclear movement.
The Peace Resource Center (PRC) at Wilmington College, driven by its mission to share the stories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors and the nonviolent legacies of nuclear disarmament activists, is expanding its historical archives into innovative online digital exhibits that will be available to the Ohio public.
The PRC, founded by nuclear disarmament peace activist Barbara Reynolds in 1975, received a 2017 Media Grant from the Ohio Humanities Council to develop an online exhibit using digital mapping and three-dimensional representation regarding Reynolds’s 1964 World Peace Study Mission (WPSM) and the WPSM’s Ohio connections.
The 1964 WPSM was an awareness-raising mission led by Reynolds, an Ohioan, consisting of 27 survivors of the atomic bombing and 14 translators who remarkably traveled to the United States, France, United Kingdom and USSR — then the world’s handful of nuclear powers. The delegation met with President Harry Truman while in the U.S. and also traveled to major Ohio cities such as Cleveland, Dayton and Columbus, garnering the support of noted Ohioans such as famed Cleveland industrialist Cyrus S. Eaton and Dayton civil rights activist and minister Harold Levesconte.
“We hope to make Ohio high school and college students more aware of the state’s legacy of civic engagement directed outward toward global issues. We want them to learn about models they can follow to enrich the paths of their state and nation,” said Tanya Maus, director of the PRC. “Barbara Reynolds, an Ohioan herself, possessed a deep desire to eliminate nuclear weapons.”
The Peace Resource Center will collaborate with the Wilmington College Education Department to reach high school educators in local communities to gain feedback as the project develops over the next 18 months and to teach them about the technology itself.
“We hope educators will be excited to create their own online exhibits using the same technology,” said Maus.
“It is exciting to create educational materials for local schools and to dive deeper into the history of Ohioans’ involvement in civic engagement,” said WC senior Maraya Wahl, outreach coordinator for the WPSM project. “The outreach role that I am playing allows me to become more familiar with the community as well.”
PRC staff, including Wilmington College student employees and interns from the local area, has been actively developing online platforms to share information, beginning with a more recent online “History Pin” (an online user-generated archive) exhibit entitled “The Voyage of the Phoenix: A Peace Odyssey.” Focused on the Reynolds family’s journey into peace activism through a trip around the world in their yacht, The Phoenix of Hiroshima, the exhibit, which can be displayed in poster form, also examines the current state of nuclear weapons and the nonviolent responses nationally and internationally.
PhD students from Watanave Laboratories at Tokyo Metropolitan University will travel from Tokyo in July to educate local educators and PRC staff how to use the open source digital mapping platform known as Cesium js, which allows a high level of visualization and interaction in telling the story of the World Peace Study Mission.Other partners in developing the PRC’s online exhibit include Antioch College and Wright State University.
Maraya Wahl is a senior studying business management, political science and Spanish at Wilmington College.