reporting pixel for marketing campaign

Campus News / News

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Rodolfo “Rudy” Vazquez

02/20/2024 9:12 am

By Sara Myers, Digital Media & Communications Specialist 

Black History Month exhibit created by RU student Rudy Vazquez

As part of his internship at Midway Village Museum, Rockford University student Rudy Vazquez recently helped put together an exhibit just in time for Black History Month called “Breaking Barriers: the 1950s Strike for Equality in Rockford.”

Vazquez’s internship started in September 2023, and his main task was doing research through the newspaper database at the museum.

The exhibit is about an incident in the early 1950s in Rockford. An African-American worker, Charles Wortham, was involved in a racial incident and about 600 workers walked out with the employee at the business Gunite in 1957, Vazquez said.

Employees who walked out also signed a paper with their support for Wortham. One issue at the time was that many of the newspapers that covered the story did not tell the whole truth and were owned by White men. Vazquez was able to find a Black-owned newspaper called The Rockford Crusader that told this story of solidarity between the man and his employees who walked out with him.

The exhibit in the museum is on four large panels. It shows the different elements of the story and who was involved in this walkout through photos and newspaper clippings, he said.

Vazquez will be working on another exhibit for the museum next month for Women’s History Month which will feature RU Alum Julia Lathrop and more. His internship at the museum will end in early March. 

The Black History Month exhibit at the museum was featured on on Feb. 1

Vazquez is very involved on campus here at RU. He is the V.P. of the Rockford Chapter of PSI CHI, and is team captain of the Esports team Rainbow 6 Siege. He will be graduating this May with a B.S. in Psychology, a B.S. in Criminal Justice, and a B.A. in History with a minor in Ancient and Medieval Studies and a minor in Religious Studies. 

He plans to continue his studies further upon graduation and will study Religion in graduate school. 

Rudy Vazquez headshot