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Pilgrim in old museum space

Values are principles embodying ideas about what is right and wrong, desirable and undesirable. Values undergird basic belief systems and guide actions. The values listed below do not exhaust our ideals; however, they summarize the core values of the Jim Crow Museum..

Jim Crow Museum Reflects Past and Present Racism.

Racism is wrong.

We oppose all forms of racism. The Jim Crow Museum's emphasis on anti-Black racial artifacts should not be seen as a lack of concern about other expressions of group oppression. We believe that prejudice and discrimination directed toward any group is wrong and must be opposed..

The fight against racism requires pro-active work.

Some people claim that race relations are worsened by discussing them. We disagree. Rather, we agree with the Reverend Martin Luther King's assertion that "time is neutral." Social problems cannot solve themselves. We confront racism publicly, continually, and relentlessly..

Scholarship is essential.

Our work must be guided by top quality research. Racism is a serious problem, and it deserves treatment as a serious problem. We bring the scholar's intellectual toolbox to this endeavor: curiosity, the objective pursuit of truth, the systematic collection and analysis of data, and the honest interpretation and presentation of those data. We do not see a conflict between activism and objective scholarship. Our expectations are high. We encourage excellence in instruction. We promote collaborative learning among students and faculty. We are scholars debunking the many myths about Black Americans. We want to teach. We want to learn..

We are a community.

Ferris State University is one of several communities which have our allegiance. Our efforts are designed to make Ferris State University a diverse and inclusive community; this is partially accomplished by educating our students, faculty, and administration about issues of race and racism. We are also members of the Big Rapids community, the state of Michigan, the United States, and the world. The Internet makes the Jim Crow Museum accessible in every nation. We have an opportunity to teach millions. We accept that responsibility..

We must serve.

We reject the "ivory tower" model of scholarly life. We are a resource to universities, high schools, civic organizations, and human rights groups..


The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery at Ferris State University is envisioned as an international leader in the anti-racism movement. The museum will serve as a base for quality scholarship addressing the complexities of race, race relations, and racism. The museum will encourage collaborative work with high schools, universities, museums, government agencies, and human rights organizations, including, but not limited to, producing original research, planning and hosting tours and conferences, and conducting anti-racism training sessions.

"I have a goal to create a room that when people come into that room, it changes the way they talk about race. -- Dr. David Pilgrim, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion, Ferris State University; Curator, Jim Crow Museum of Racist Imagery.