"In Our Family: Portraits of All Kinds of Families," a photo exhibit created by the award-winning Family Diversity Projects of Amherst, Mass., will be featured at Murrell Library on Missouri Valley College's campus from Monday, Oct. 1, through Thursday, Nov. 1, according to a news release from the college.
The exhibit will be available during regular library hours.
"In Our Family" is a museum-quality traveling photo/text exhibit featuring about 20 families representing a breadth of diversity and family configurations.
Types of families include adoptive and foster families, divorced and stepfamilies, single parent households, multiracial families, families facing chronic illness and death, families living with mental and physical disabilities, lesbian and gay-parented families, interfaith families, multigenerational households and immigrant families.
The exhibit is designed for audiences of all ages. It is designed to challenge stereotypes and help dismantle prejudice by celebrating and supporting differences of all kinds, college officials said.
The traveling photo-text exhibit includes positive and realistic photographs along with the candid interviews with family members of all ages, affirming an inclusive and expansive vision of family life today.
"Valley is a community of acceptance and we celebrate our unique and diverse environment," said Brian Hampton, Murrell Library events coordinator. "Identifying with our students' background and embracing their individuality is something in which we take pride."
The exhibit travels nationwide to schools, colleges, public libraries, workplaces, places of worship, conferences, museums and communities nationwide.
The exhibit is supported by diversity professionals, families, educators and parents.
Family Diversity Projects (FDP) is a non-profit educational organization founded by exhibit creators, Peggy Gillespie (interviewer/editor) and Gigi Kaeser (photographer). They have created four photo-text exhibits three of which have been published in book form to help eliminate prejudice, stereotyping, and harassment of people discriminated against due to race, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, gender, class and disability.
The mission of FDP is to propel forward a world where all families are recognized, valued and fully supported when "normal" or "different" are words not used to describe family, and where the right to define family is respectfully restored to individuals.
"Family Diversity Projects is a wonderful organization," Hampton said. "They are a model of diversity and inclusiveness and I am pleased to be a part of this exhibition at Missouri Valley College. Murrell Library is especially appreciative of the generosity and support of Kevin Sanders, director of MVC's Master of Arts in community counseling program, Rachel Mayfield, director of MVC's Counseling Center and practicum coordinator for the Master of Arts in community counseling program, and Jennifer Livengood, Assistant Professor of Psychology."
Library hours are Mondays thru Thursdays, 7:45 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Fridays, 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturdays, 1 to 5 p.m.; and Sunday 2 to 11 p.m.