Museum to host civic engagement luncheon

The “Choosing to Participate” Lunch and Learn program at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum on Monday will feature local young professionals and students who were active civic participants during their college careers.

The Lunch and Learn program is a part of a series of programs that accompany the museum’s temporary exhibit, “Choosing To Participate: The Power of Civic Engagement.”

The program was developed through a partnership of the Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition Service and a non-profit organization, Facing History and Ourselves.

R. Jai Gillum, Joe O’Shea and Ernst Pirrelouis are among the young professionals set to highlight their community involvement and how their civic experiences shaped their academic path and influenced their professional goals.

The series encourages dialogue, engagement, respect and participation in communities.

Emily Fee, Florida Historic Capitol Museum education coordinator, said the “Choosing to Participate” program is an opportunity that all students should take advantage of, no matter their age or future professional goals.

“This program is geared to encourage people to talk about civic engagement,” Fee said. “It only takes one person or small group of people to create change. One person’s individual desire to take action can cause a ripple effect to where a whole nation is affected.”

Many of the world’s most historic and monumental moments derived from civic involvement, some of which are displayed in the “Choosing To Participate” exhibit room, such as The Little Rock Nine.

Ray Lloyd, Florida Historic Capitol Museum administrative and public relations assistant Ray Loyd agreed that this is an opportunity students don’t want to miss.

“It will be very interesting for college students, young professionals and active civic members in Tallahassee,” Loyd said.

Andrew Lucas, a senior business administration student from Tampa, said “Choosing to Participate” is a great avenue about the importance of community involvement.

“You never know where giving back to your community will get you,” Lucas said. “Even if it’s a small idea promoting change in your neighborhood, that small idea has the potential to transfer to your city, so forth and so on.”

The free program will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Florida Historic Capitol Museum, 400 S. Monroe St.

The exhibit will be on display until August 10, and attendees can RSVP by calling the museum’s main line at 850-487-1902.