¡NUEVOlution!: Latinos in the New South exhibition opens at BCRI

Special to The Times

Nuevolution Advisory Committee From left: Carlos Aleman, Yasmin Contreras, Michael Wilson, Sarai Portillo, Michael Innis-Jimenez (back), John Ocampo, Isabel Rubio, Priscilla Hancock Cooper, Cinthia Saenz, Joel Rivera, Isabel Rivera, and Rosemary Johnson. Joel and Isabel Rivera are featured in the exhibition. (Stephonia Taylor McLinn, special to The Times).
Nuevolution Advisory Committee from left: Carlos Aleman, Yasmin Contreras, Michael Wilson, Sarai Portillo, Michael Innis-Jimenez (back), John Ocampo, Isabel Rubio, Priscilla Hancock Cooper, Cinthia Saenz, Joel Rivera, Isabel Rivera, and Rosemary Johnson. Joel and Isabel Rivera are featured in the exhibition. (Stephonia Taylor McLinn, special to The Times).

On Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017 the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) officially opened a major travelling exhibition, ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos in the New South in the Odessa Woolfolk Gallery.

¡NUEVOlution! is a large-scale, bilingual, multi-dimensional, interactive exhibition that uses personal stories to examine the complex stories of Latinos in the South.

“Nuevolution” is a “Spanglish” mash-up of words: nuevo (“new” in Spanish) + evolution (“growth, development” in English) = transformational change.

The exhibition is the product of a three-year collaboration led by Levine Museum of the New South (LNS) (Charlotte, NC) in partnership with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the Atlanta History Center.  Over the past 25 years, the South has emerged as the nation’s most vibrant area of Latino growth.  Cities like Atlanta, Birmingham and Charlotte are changing, and the transformation can be seen in a variety of ways.  Some historians consider the dramatic shift to be the biggest story in southern history since the Civil Rights Movement.

“¡NUEVOlution! is the result of the Latino New South project that included years of collaborative research, planning and listening sessions in all three cities,” said Priscilla Hancock Cooper, BCRI Vice President of Institutional Programs.  “Participation in the LNS Project was transformative for me both personally and professionally.  I believe that the Birmingham community will benefit greatly from this unique exhibition that challenges all of us to consider what we know about each other.”

“Alabama is well-represented in the moving personal stories that are the hallmark of this exhibition,” she continued.  “Through video interviews, visitors will meet local students and teachers, successful entrepreneurs, as well as activists who are applying strategies from the civil rights movement to 21st century issues.”

¡NUEVOlution! Latinos in the New South will be on display through May 31, 2017.  For information on related upcoming programs, visit www.bcri.org.  The exhibition is included with tour admission.