Ward Leaving Moton Museum

Published 2:47 pm Tuesday, April 1, 2014

FARMVILLE — Lacy Ward, Jr., is leaving the Moton Museum.

Ward informed the museum’s board of trustees via email on Monday that he has accepted a new position and that his final day as director will be April 30.

Ward was mum on his destination, saying that announcement would come next week.

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In the email to trustees, Ward wrote, “Thank you for all of your support in building Virginia’s leading Civil Rights museum. Under your governance Moton’s future is exceedingly bright.”

Ward, a member of the Longwood University board of visitors, was named executive director of the museum in January of 2008.

Contacted by The Herald, Ward reflected, “my personal thoughts on it, looking back to 2008, we said by 2011 we’d accomplish the transformation of the organization. It actually took five years, instead of three, but I’m really proud of what we were able to accomplish and I think the facility is well positioned to continue to grow and serve the community.”

Given the economy and the challenge, he said, “we still achieved a pretty ambitious goal.”

The museum will celebrate the 63rd anniversary of the historic strike on April 23, with students from Prince Edward County High School and Fuqua School joining to reenact the walk from R. R. Moton High School by Barbara Johns and her classmates to the courthouse.

The strike against separate and unequal school conditions for black students in Prince Edward is considered the birth of the civil rights movement.

The subsequent legal challenge by the students and their families against segregated classrooms played a crucial role in the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision by the US Supreme Court to end segregation in America’s public schools.