The Lincoln Legacy Project
With malice toward none, with charity for all
The Lincoln Legacy Project
From Intolerance toward Equality
In Fall of 2011, Ford’s Theatre launched the Lincoln Legacy Project, a multi-year effort to create dialogue in our nation’s capital around the issues of tolerance, equality and acceptance. Each fall, through a series of cornerstone theatre productions, educational programs and special events, Ford’s takes a closer look at racial and religious intolerance, social injustice and civil rights in American history and contemporary society. Through a diversity of programming, the Lincoln Legacy Project is designed to encourage people of differing viewpoints to engage in meaningful and respectful dialogue about tolerance and understanding.
2013 Programming: September 10-December 8, 2013
Special Exhibition – Not Alone: The Power of Response
September 10 through December 8
Using as a catalyst a selection of the nearly 10,000 cards and letters that were sent to Judy and Dennis Shepard in the aftermath of their son Matthew’s murder, the exhibition considers the larger themes of empathy, community response and personal responsibility. At Ford’s Theatre, Center for Education and Leadership (second floor).
The Laramie Project
September 27-October 27
The play portrays the seismic and deeply personal impact Matthew’s death had on this small town while also demonstrating the power of the human spirit to triumph over bigotry and violence.
With Malice Toward None: Judy Shepard, a Mother’s Response to Hate
September 30 at 7 p.m.
Judy Shepard, Matthew’s mother, discusses her work to keep Matthew’s legacy alive through activism and the Matthew Shepard Foundation. With Cokie Roberts.
With Charity for All: Lives Changed by Hate
October 7 at 7 p.m.
This panel discussion focuses on and draw lessons from three incidents connected to gender, sexual orientation, racial or cultural bias. Featuring Dave O’Malley (former Laramie police commander during the Matthew Shepard murder investigation and trial); Billy Rowles (former Jasper sheriff during the James Byrd Jr. murder investigation and trial; and members of KhushDC. Will take place at the Center for Education and Leadership.
The Laramie Project: Matthew Shepard Foundation Night
Followed by a Candlelight Vigil
October 11: Performance at 7:30 p.m.; Vigil at approximately 10:15 p.m.
Ford’s Theatre will donate all proceeds from the October 11 performance of The Laramie Project to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Tickets are available online. Following the performance, Ford’s Theatre will hold a candlelight vigil in front of the theatre; the vigil is free and open to the public.
To Achieve and Cherish a Just and Lasting Peace: Envisioning a World Beyond Hate
October 28 at 7 p.m.
This free event focuses on how future leaders envision accomplishing the dream of equality and acceptance for all. The discussion will feature youth from Split This Rock and SMYAL.
Partners and Supporters
Events for The Lincoln Legacy Project will be presented in cooperation with several partner organizations including the Matthew Shepard Foundation, The Trevor Project, Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders, Facing History and Ourselves, Not in Our Town, Split This Rock, Teaching for Change, the Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center, the DC Center, the Human Rights Campaign, Tectonic Theater Project, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and PFLAG - Metro D.C. Chapter.
Previous year's partners include the Atlas Performing Arts Center, East Coast Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., the DCJCC, Jewish Film Festival, the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington, the Montford Point Marine Association, the NAACP, Operation Understanding D.C., Theater J and the Veterans History Project.
The Lincoln Legacy Project is made possible with support from: Ronald O. Perelman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc., Founding Sponsor; The Pew Charitable Trusts; and the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, Harold Holzer, Chairman. Funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Official Media Partner: The Washington Post
“If there is one aspect of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy that has particular resonance today as a lasting example of the enduring light he shed on American ideals, it lies in his qualities of tolerance and understanding. Lincoln carved an entire administration out of differing and even opposing viewpoints, leading an agenda that called for reconciliation towards those who fought body and soul to destroy the Union he represented. Issues of tolerance, equality and acceptance are as much an issue today as they were in Lincoln’s time, and we hope that by creating a safe space to dialogue about these issues that we can better understand each other and our shared world.” –Paul R. Tetreault, director, Ford’s Theatre
Photo of Lincoln courtesy of Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site.