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To Grow the Future, Reveal the Past

Written by in Profiles

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Guest Post by Steve Gordon, Rdqlus Creative

 

When Omaha Public Schools approached me with the idea of developing an identity for a summer program created to revitalize a community thru its young people, I jumped at the opportunity—because the community in question was the one I grew up in and proudly rep to this day; North Omaha. Stereotypically seen as the “wrong side of the tracks”, the community struggles against bad press, both factual and fantastical.

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The ‘Making Invisible Histories Visible’ program is structured to teach young people in the Omaha’s community to research and celebrate the proud black heritage of those in the neighborhoods that make up the community on the whole, and to do so through spoken records and the story-telling tradition. Over the week-long summer camp, the kids dive into the community, keeping journals and gathering video and spoken records as a means of attaching themselves in a more lasting way to the good pedigree of their community. The MIHV program sets students on fact finding missions, not thru books and reading, but by getting the stories straight from the sources, or those close to them; People they really know rather than a paragraph written in a book from a historian.

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The identity is built in just this way; visually telling the story of the program’s aims and hopefully the outlook of the kids and community by the time their are thru the program and back into their homes and neighborhoods. The flame represents heritage; that thing at our core telling defining who we are as people, regardless of the exterior circumstances. The magnifying glass represents the scholastic search for details, clues and meaning. Not just looking or seeing, but searching with the intent of finding the not easily seen. The outer rim is the shape of a hand-held mirror, wrapping up the heritage and search within a view of ‘self’.

About the author: Steve is a “creative mercenary”; the skilled hired-gun creative to call when you need to say “I know a guy.”  That’s Steve Gordon Jr, and he is RDQLUS Creative—designer and creative consultant, specializing in identity, branding and creative direction. Steve is also the author of ‘100 Habits for Successful Freelance Designers’ (Rockport Publishers).

For more information on this important program, please visit:  http://Www.ops.org/invisiblehistory