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Diversity and Inclusion

Choice of Weapons

Choice of Weapons: Art to Open Minds and Hearts
Engagement: Introductory                 

This session features art curator Aileen June Wang and photographer Doug Barrett. The title
draws from the autobiography of artist Gordon Parks, who wrote: “I chose my camera as a
weapon against all the things I dislike about America — poverty, racism, discrimination.” Doug
and Aileen will share personal stories about combining passion for the arts with desire to
effect change. Aileen's presentation will discuss exhibitions and programs she organized at the
Beach Museum of Art on migration, transcultural exchange, and antiracism. Doug will present
his current photography projects about homeless veterans, the Yuma Street neighborhood in
Manhattan, KS, and the Black Lives Matters movement in Kansas. After the presentations,
speakers and participants share what their passions are and brainstorm on how they can make
a difference within their own spheres of interest.


Doug BarrettDoug Barrett (he/him/his)
Director of Photography
400 North Creative

Doug Barrett is a Manhattan-based artist and the founder of 400 North Creative, a full-service photography and cinematography company. Barrett has been taking photographs since his parents gave him his first camera at age ten. As a teenager he videotaped school activities with an 8mm camera. He is an army veteran and a former police officer. Barrett’s recent projects include interviewing and photographing and telling the stories of homeless veterans, creating a photo portrait of the Yuma Street community of Manhattan, KS, and documenting the Black Lives Matter movement in Kansas.


Aileen Wang

Dr. Aileen June Wang (she/her/hers)
Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University

Aileen received her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in art history from Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey. Prior to her appointment in Kansas, Wang worked in the art business
world and was a professor in art history. In 2017, she presented the first American museum exhibition of Japanese Italian artist Enrico Isamu Ōyama, which included a site-specific mural still on display in Aggieville today. She organized the Silk Road through Kansas project in 2018 and 2019, involving multiple art institutions and universities in Kansas. Her next projects include exhibitions of photographs by Kansas artists Gordon Parks and Doug Barrett. Photo by Doug Barrett