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October 27, 2021

Kennedy Institute Welcomes School Groups Back with new Voting Rights Exhibit

New exhibit, "Standing Up For Democracy," focuses on America's history of voting rights

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United State Senate this month has happily begun welcoming back its first in-person group visitors after 18 months of providing solely virtual educational programs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Re-opening our doors to in-person tour groups supports the Kennedy Institute in its mission of educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities. The highly anticipated reopening was capped off with the premiere of the Kennedy Institute’s new in-person exhibit.

Standing Up for Democracy is a new exhibit at the Kennedy Institute that considers our nation’s long and difficult history securing voting rights for all Americans and highlights the work that Senator Ted Kennedy and his colleagues invested over the decades to ensure that everyone’s democratic voice is heard. The exhibit also draws attention to current challenges to voting rights, whether that be access to the polls, barriers to voting, or unfair districting, and spotlights those who are making a difference today.

In October, the Kennedy Institute welcomed a number of groups for in-person programming in our building and Senate Chamber replica. A group of students from UMass Boston learned about the history and functions of the electoral college, and we also welcomed students from the Met School system in Rhode Island to discuss and debate major components of environmental policy known as the “Green New Deal.”

“I’ve brought groups to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate for several years, but after the pause of the COVID pandemic, the return to [the Kennedy Institute] was truly special,” said Arthur Baraf, Principal at the Met High School Liberty Building. “Students learned in an amazing setting, through an immersive experience, and with highly skilled educators. They felt lucky to have had the experience, and more equipped to be active citizens.”

“We are so pleased to resume in-person programming at the Kennedy Institute,” said Caroline Angel Burke, Vice President of Education, Visitor Experiences & Collections at the Kennedy Institute. “Being able to provide hands-on, immersive civics education lessons helps keep students engaged, and we hope they walk away with a newfound understanding and appreciation for the United States government, as well as inspiration to engage more with their communities.”

The Kennedy Institute continues to offer bookings for in-person groups at the Kennedy Institute’s Boston facility that features a full-scale replica of the Senate Chamber, with teacher reservations now open through June 2022. Both in-person and virtual programs will be offered four days a week, with Friday classes now added to the previous Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday schedule. Learn more and schedule a facilitated program through our Educational Experiences webpage: