Since President Obama’s inauguration, civil rights icon Ruby Bridges expressed interest in having the Norman Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With,” hung in the White House. The painting, which features Ruby as a six year old when she integrated William Frantz Elementary in 1960, is one of the most recognized images of the Civil Rights Movement and a poignant reminder of the legacy of segregation in our country.
For more than a year, Ragusa Consulting worked to make Ms. Bridges’ goal a reality. After leveraging connections and coordinating a letter writing campaign, in July 2011, the painting was finally hung outside of the Oval Office, and Ms. Bridges was invited to the White House to meet President Obama. In celebration of this momentous occasion, Ragusa organized a reception to honor Ms. Bridges and supporters of the Ruby Bridges Foundation. He also secured a sponsorship to cover the costs of the trip and the reception.
-Video originally posted on the White House blog by William Allman on July 15, 2011 at 06:54 PM EDT
Ruby Bridges met with President Obama to celebrate the hanging of the famous Norman Rockwell painting, “The Problem We All Live With.” Rockwell’s painting depicts six year old Ruby Bridges surrounded by federal marshals as she integrated William Frantz Elementary in New Orleans in 1960. The painting, which appeared in Look Magazine in 1964 and immediately became an important image of the Civil Rights Movement, was hung in the White House to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the integration of public elementary schools in the South.
With special instructions not to alert media prior to the event, Ragusa worked under strict parameters to schedule interview opportunities for Ms. Bridges after her meeting with the president. Thanks to Ragusa’s efforts, the story received coverage in:
- ABC News
- CBS Evening News
- Chicago Sun Times
- Color Lines Magazine
- Huffington Post
- New York Amsterdam News
- NOLA Defender
- NOLA Vie
- USA Today
- White House Blog
- WWL TV
The story of Ruby Bridges’ meeting with the president went viral with hundreds more stories online and thousands of mentions through social networks.
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