A Journey Through the Jeanie Johnston Exhibit and EPIC Museum

Programs for this blog post

Advocating for Social Justice

Authored By:

Matt Bisek

At the midway point of the program, the students embark on an eye-opening journey through Ireland's rich history as we delve into two iconic sites in Dublin - the Jeanie Johnston Exhibit and the EPIC Museum - that hold paramount significance in understanding Ireland's efforts towards social justice throughout the centuries.

The Jeanie Johnston Exhibit: A Voyage of Resilience

At the heart of the Jeanie Johnston Exhibit lies a poignant narrative of resilience and courage. The Jeanie Johnston was a 19th-century emigrant ship that carried thousands of Irish men, women, and children seeking a better life in North America during the Great Famine. Unlike many other "coffin ships," the Jeanie Johnston gained a reputation for its commitment to human dignity and care for passengers.

Impact on Social Justice

  1. Humanity Amidst Adversity: The story of the Jeanie Johnston exemplifies the resilience of the Irish people in the face of immense suffering. This history serves as a poignant reminder that even in the darkest times, compassion and empathy can shine through, fostering the importance of treating all individuals with dignity and respect.
  2. Migration and Identity: The emigration on the Jeanie Johnston deeply impacted Irish identity and culture, influencing the diaspora's role in promoting social justice across the world. Understanding the struggles faced by emigrants can help cultivate empathy for modern-day refugees and immigrants, encouraging support for their rights and well-being.
  3. Lessons in Equality: The Jeanie Johnston's commitment to treating passengers equally, regardless of their social background, reflects the ideals of social justice. Exploring this history challenges students to reflect on their own society's treatment of marginalized communities and inspires them to advocate for equal rights and opportunities for all.

EPIC Museum: Unraveling the Threads of Irish Diaspora

The EPIC Museum is a cutting-edge, interactive museum dedicated to tracing the history and impact of Irish emigration across the globe. From famine and persecution to entrepreneurship and cultural influence, EPIC showcases the incredible journeys of the Irish diaspora.

Impact on Social Justice

  1. Understanding Global Injustices: The EPIC Museum offers a comprehensive perspective on how historical injustices, such as colonialism and famine, can force mass migration and displace communities. This understanding fosters empathy and awareness about contemporary global challenges, prompting students to engage in activism and humanitarian efforts.
  2. Celebrating Diversity: The stories of the Irish diaspora illustrate the richness of diverse cultural contributions worldwide. By appreciating the cultural heritage of different communities, students can champion inclusivity and challenge discriminatory attitudes, furthering the cause of social justice in their own societies.
  3. Inspiring Social Activism: EPIC shares the stories of Irish emigrants who fought for justice and equality in their adopted countries. This inspires students to become proactive agents of change in their own communities, motivating them to address social issues and stand up for the rights of marginalized individuals.

The Jeanie Johnston Exhibit and EPIC Museum represent powerful testaments to Ireland's struggle for social justice throughout its history. By immersing themselves in these significant sites, students understand the importance of empathy, inclusivity, and social activism. Armed with this knowledge, our young participants return home as informed global citizens, ready to champion positive change and contribute to a more just and equitable world.

Through these transformative experiences, our International Educational Program continues to nurture the seeds of social justice, fostering a generation of compassionate leaders who strive to make a difference in the lives of others and leave a lasting impact on our interconnected world.