An interactive audio exhibit that builds on the work of last year’s “Faces of Belonging” collaboration, “Voices of Belonging” will run from March 31-April 14 in NIU’s Founders Memorial Library.

Voices of Belonging is a collaboration among NIU’s Northern Public Radio (WNIU/WNIJ), the Divisions of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development and Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and various campus and community partners (including the photography program of the School of Art and Design). The exhibit aims to deepen our communiversity understanding of belonging and othering by exploring personal lived experiences of campus and community members, and the insights of national belonging thought leaders.

“Voices of Belonging” features 11 local residents and students sharing their stories in their own voices. The unrehearsed, extemporaneous interviews conducted by WNIJ producers are honest and captivating.

The exhibit also includes interviews with a local and national expert who helps to define belonging. There is also a rare recording of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. speaking to Ohio high school students about belonging. Angela Baron Jeffrey, who moderated NIU’s community conversation with dr. james a. powell, serves as the audio host.

The exhibit also provides reflection questions to encourage personal contemplation at both the individual and community level.

All are invited to join NIU, the City of DeKalb, Northern Public Radio, the DeKalb Area Belonging Council, Target, and Mortenson for the opening reception, March 31 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the main level of Founders Memorial Library for a special opening reception, remarks will be made at 4 p.m.

After the March 31-April 14 run in Founders Memorial Library the installation will travel to the DeKalb Public Library (April 25 through May 8) and then to Kishwaukee College with the intention that the exhibit travel to various campus and community locations including schools, houses of faith, public buildings and other locations to create awareness, provoke thought, personal reflection and to further the creation of a culture of belonging in the DeKalb area and on the NIU campus.

Special thanks to the following for their contributions to the creation of this exhibit:

Moderator and host, Angela Baron-Jeffrey
NIU Marketing and Communications team
The Friends of the NIU Libraries
NIU Founders Memorial Library
NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts – especially Associate Professor of Art Jessica Labatte and her photography students
NIU Division of Outreach, Engagement and Regional Development
NIU Division of Academic Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) campus center at NIU
james a. powell
Each of the eleven outstanding participants
The Cleveland Public Library and Ideastream for the contribution of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s rare and powerful recording

A Note for Educators & Discussion Group Leaders

Voices of Belonging includes 12 questions throughout the exhibit intended to provoke personal reflection. Three final questions were asked of each interview participant. Visitors are invited to consider these three questions and submit their own personal Voice of Belonging recording.  The exhibit questions were created with educational and group discussion opportunities in mind. Educators and discussion leaders are invited to create assignments, discussions, and experiential learning opportunities related to the exhibit.  We would love to know how you use the exhibit and the questions posed.

Your feedback is welcomed and assists us in enhancing our current and future exhibits. Please send us an email at or with your feedback. Private tours and talks can be arranged from time to time. If you would like to arrange for a private tour and discussion for your class or group, please contact Jennifer Groce at

Want to Host the Exhibit?

Voices of Belonging is a traveling exhibit. If you would like to submit a request for review  to host the exhibit in your location, please contact Jennifer Groce at or Monique Bernoudy at Please note that the exhibit can only be used indoors and must be in a safe and secure location that is monitored, and a staff member must be available to distribute and collect disposable headphones and MP3 players as needed.


Please contact Jennifer Groce at or Monique Bernoudy at