Tapestry of Faith: Families: A Jr. High School Youth Program that Explores the Diversity, Commonality, and Meaning of Families

Faith In Action: Diverse Families On Display - Long Term

Part of Families

Materials for Activity

  • Access to a computer with Internet capability or printouts of information from the Family Diversity Projects website
  • The Family Diversity Projects planning pamphlet and exhibit (see Preparation for Activity, below)
  • Index cards and pencils (optional)

Preparation for Activity

  • At least six weeks before you plan to engage in this activity, visit the Family Diversity Projects website to get information about hosting an exhibit and order an information packet. If you will not have Internet capability during the session, print out pages describing the possible exhibits beforehand.
  • Check with the leaders of your congregation (religious educator, minister, and/or congregational president) to see if you can host a photo exhibit. Alternatively, you might consider co-hosting an exhibit with a local library, school, or non-profit organization. This could be an opportunity for interfaith work: consider asking the youth ministry coordinator of a house of worship near yours if youth from that congregation would like to work together on this project with your group.

Description of Activity

Bring one of the photo displays from Family Diversity Projects to your area. Engage youth in a conversation about the exposure that diverse families get in your community. What might all families gain if family diversity is valued? Family Diversity Projects has several different photo displays that each emphasize different forms of diversity within families. If you have access to a computer and Internet capability, visit the Family Diversity Projects website with participants. If you don't have Internet capability, show youth the available exhibits that are shown on the pages you printed out. The participants can help decide which diversity issue is most underrepresented in your community and commit to hosting that particular display. This project can also give youth some ideas for their own final photo project.

Issues for Discussion

When considering whether participants wish to commit to this activity, include commitment in three areas:

  • Leadership. One or more participants and leaders need to volunteer to be the contact person, organize fund-raising, keep an account of funds, order and receive the exhibit, organize exhibit set-up, advertise the exhibit, and ensure the proper and safe return of the exhibit.
  • Funds. There is a fee involved. The Family Diversity Project is a non-profit, so you must consider the cost of hosting an exhibit. Fees can range from a few hundred dollars to $1200 for a two-week exhibit, but there is a great deal of flexibility. The Family Diversity Project tries never to say no, so do not let issues with expensive fees prevent you from hosting an exhibit. Your group can raise funds through seeking donations or by other methods such as having a bake sale, sponsoring a car wash, and the like. If you decide to co-host an exhibit with another congregation or organization, you can split the fees. One or more persons must be charged with the keeping and accounting of these funds.
  • Manual labor. Once the exhibit arrives, someone must set it up. The display may also require some upkeep. After the display period, someone needs to take it down and return it to the Family Diversity Project.

If participants decide to do this activity, use the information in the pamphlet to devise a schedule and a to do list. Assign items on the to do list to participants and schedule how all parts will fit together.

Consider reserving part of the exhibit space as an area where viewers can make comments. A stack of index cards and pencils, along with a sign encouraging comments, should suffice. Review the comments before participants do, in case any are inappropriate.

After viewing the exhibit, use the following questions to process this activity:

  • What was your impression of the display?
  • Did you receive any comments from congregants or members of the public about the display?