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Alabama Story: An Illustration of Race Relations, Power, and Courage

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Lamb Theatre
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Inspiration can strike from anywhere. Reading the obits one day, Kenneth Jones came across the story of Emily Wheelock Reed, a librarian who lived and worked in Alabama during the 1950's and 60's. Trouble began for her when she added illustrator Garth Williams' book The Rabbits' Wedding to her stacks, a book that portrays the marriage of a black rabbit and a white rabbit. The White Citizen's Council and Senator Edward Oswell Eddins demanded the book be removed, and so began the Alabama Story. Tonight (9-15) the play makes its regional debut with a production by Lamb Arts Regional TheatreWe Are Not A Monolith's Ike Rayford and Shelby Pierce were joined via Skype by Jones.

At a young age Rayford’s entrepreneurial spirit was nurtured through involvement in family businesses., where learned the arts of relationship building, time management and the value of self-determination. He has been involved in leadership positions of The NAACP, Three Rivers Independent Living Centers, Toastmasters International, Leadership Siouxland, Habitat For Humanity, Freedom Festival, Youth For Christ, Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Decatur Lodge, and Juneteenth. Additionally, Rayford strives to bring people together by valuing the individuality of everyone he encounters and withholding judgment. These skills were particularly valuable when investigating allegations of discrimination while serving as an AmeriCorp VISTA with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission at the Siouxland Human Rights Commission and advocate at Three Rivers Independent Living Center. He achieved the highest honor awarded in Toastmasters International, the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), in 2012 and continues his education both formally and informally. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Business Administration and Mass Communications from Briar Cliff University in Sioux City, Iowa in 2003 while balancing the demands of school, single-parenthood and full-time employment.
Shelby is a native Sioux Cityan. She graduated from East High. After completing her undergraduate in Social Science in Denver, she lived and worked briefly in Phoenix, AZ. Eight years ago, she returned to Sioux City for what she thought would be a brief stint. She remains a en-Sioux-siast to this day.
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