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ERIC Number: EJ1168990
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1059-8650
Sharing Lived Experience with Incarceration to Encourage Visitor Empathy: A Case Study through Conversation
Robinson, Marvin; Zalut, Lauren
Journal of Museum Education, v43 n1 p22-34 2018
In an effort to humanize the issues surrounding mass incarceration, and to foster empathy in historic site visitors, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site launched a pilot tour program that hired formerly incarcerated people to give tours of the building. These 15-minute tours allowed visitors to hear personal stories of incarceration alongside the history of a unique space at the prison. Preparation for the project began a year before it launched, and focused on ethical, legal, and marketing issues. Would this job re-traumatize the tour guides? How would visitors react? Planning resulted in a program that provided tours to approximately 2000 visitors led by four formerly incarcerated people in the spring of 2016. The results of this project demonstrate that museums can hire trauma-impacted educators to promote empathy, humanize difficult content topics, encourage social change in museum and historic site visitors, and transform the museum itself. A bibliography is included.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A