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Upcoming Exhibits

Ebola: People + Public Health + Political Will

Organized by the David J. Sencer CDC Museum

June 19, 2017 – May 25, 2018

Seen through window, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s emergency operations center in Atlanta have a conference call with CDC members deployed in West Africa.

Seen through window, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s emergency operations center in Atlanta have a conference call with CDC members deployed in West Africa.
Image: David Goldman/Associated Press

Ebola: People + Public Health + Political Will is an investigation of the historic 2014-16 Ebola Fever Virus epidemic in West Africa, the United States, and around the world.  As the crisis unfolded in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in 2014, it evolved into both a health and humanitarian crisis. When it became clear that Ebola could potentially spread exponentially, threatening global health security, there was a coordinated, massive response. CDC and the U.S. government, the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), other governments, philanthropic donors to organizations such as the CDC Foundation, and many international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mobilized massive resources in fall 2014.

Introduced by a timeline of events, the exhibition will explore the early days of the outbreak, the heroic work of West African and international health workers, contact tracing, safe burial procedures, how America responded when Ebola reached the U.S., and issues facing Ebola survivors, including stigma. Throughout the epidemic, CDC personnel deployed to West Africa assisted with the response efforts including surveillance, contact tracing, data management, laboratory testing, and health education. In Atlanta, thousands of CDC staff members provided logistics, analytics, and management.

Ebola: People + Public Health + Political Will ​ will feature artifacts such as personal protective equipment (PPE) worn in  West Africa and the U.S.; lab equipment used in CDC’s temporary hot lab in Bo, Sierra Leone; hand-washing stations; and first-person audio testimonials. Health communication materials, including posters, T-shirts, flipbooks, cellphones and tablets used by Ebola disease detectives will be on view. Stunning photographs by some of the world’s leading photojournalists and documentary photographers, along with images taken by CDC staff members deployed to West Africa, will document the epidemic. The exhibition will close with an introspective look at “lessons learned” by CDC and its partners, and the efforts to create a public health and societal infrastructure that can conquer diseases such as Ebola before they become international public health emergencies.

The exhibition will honor the Ebola survivors and the West African people who were at the forefront of treating its citizens, controlling and preventing the disease, and working to restore civil society after economic and societal disruptions.

By the People: Designing a Better America

Summer 2018

by the people: designing a better america

By the People: Designing a Better America focuses on humanitarian design solutions in the modern world, examining how design is addressing social, health, economic and environmental challenges faced by communities through the United States.  The exhibition is organized around six themes that embody current approaches designers are taking to resolve complex issues.  Included is the Atlanta Beltline, a grassroots effort to save and transform four existing rail lines into a 22-mile green loop, aiming to connect 40 diverse neighborhoods with light rail, street cars, walking trails, bike paths, and parks; and a mobile market that brings fresh produce to a “food desert” in Chicago in order to reduce diet-related health risks.   Investigations range in scale from an online application designed to share language and culture with the next generation of Navajo youth, to sustainable approaches to infrastructure and land-use for the entire city of Detroit.

Organized by Cynthia E. Smith, Curator of Socially Responsible Design at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the exhibition includes objects,  infographics, and interactive media to illustrate these new design approaches and to provoke questions about the dynamic role of design in providing innovative solutions.

  • Page last reviewed: March 22, 2017
  • Page last updated: March 22, 2017
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