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First Floor: Tools That Transform Society

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The first floor learning experiences guide participants through an exploration of social issues and a process of personal transformation.

The first floor's interactive media and instructive displays introduce tools used by ordinary people to re-shape neighborhoods, states, the nation and world by organizing and inspiring unity.

IMAGE: First floor diagram

The “Key” to an Enriched Experience

On your first visit you will receive a “key”—a transparent token IMAGE: RFIDembedded with a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. This technology will allow you to upload information about your visit to a remote database through a network of radio frequency receivers embedded in The Lab's exhibits. At home, access The Lab's web site and your personalized profile with details about your visit and links to other resources. Use this key each time you visit The Lab.

What’s Your Story?

Share your personal stories and reflections on your experience at the Lab in the Oral History Alcove. The Alcove records brief commentary from daily visitors and accommodates oral interviews, for media IMAGE: OralHistoryproductions, programmatic purposes and scholarly research.

These Learning Experiences are organized according to the same model—learn from one set and apply that experience to the remaining activities. Learn more about the Lab's first fully-developed Tool for Change, Express Yourself.

Experience a Tool: Express Yourself

Come along on a virtual tour of the UNITY Lab's first completed learning experience, Express Yourself, which empowers participants to articulate their perspectives through creative expression Click on the image to the right to view preliminary evaluations of Express Yourself, which will be integrated into the Digital Arts Studio at George Washington Carver School of Arts & Science. This partnership will enable students and teachers to develop integrated curriculum with all of the UNITY Lab’s learning experiences and allow us to continue to fabricate components while the Lab is under

Experience a Tool: Protest

Find out about the impact and effectiveness of non-violent protest through audio-based histories, quotes and messages, and get to know individuals and organizations that have used protest as a starting point for changing the status quo. March along a set of footprints that activate videos of historic footage of significant protests in California history. Learn about extraOrdinary People like Fred Korematsu, a Japanese-American from Oakland who protested the internment camp policy enacted during World War II and Erica Fernandez, a teenager that successfully blocked the construction of a gas pipeline in low-income neighborhoods.

Experience a Tool: Forgive

Kiki Vo is an extraORDINARY Sacramento student, who, through her perserverence, strong character, and ability to Forgive, has been able to celebrate life, finding happiness and success. Ten years ago, Kiki and her sisters were badly burned in a house fire in their native Vietnam that took the life of their mother. Raised by her father after securing treatment in the United States, Kiki and her sisters edured taunts and bullying and were separated when their father died of lung cancer a few years later. They have since been reunited.

However, Kiki does not focus on the pain from her loss. In her own words: "There is of course a part of me that is still hurting, but not from the fire. I'm hurt at the fact that I didn't forgive myself and others earlier...But now I have learned to forgive completely. I'm ready to move on to my next journey in life." You can read more about Kiki and other extraOrdinary Youth at the ULAB for Teens! website.

Experience a Tool: Organize

Realize the value of coming together with others who share ideas and concerns. Gather together people to activate a multimedia wall in a real life experience of the power of organizing. View profiles of extraORDINARY People like Brian Cox, whose ability to ORGANIZE transformed a park in Los Angeles from a breeding ground of crime to a cultural and community hub. Learn more about the first floor Tools for Change, or download plans for The UNITY Lab.

Kiki Vo is an extraordinary Sacramento student who has
overcome tragedy to accomplish much in the course of her 18 years. At
the age of 9, Vo and her two sisters barely survived a house fire that killed their mother. With the help of a non-profit,
her father moved the family to the US for treatment, but died of cancer before
Vo graduated high school. Despite the hardships she endured-- not least the 27 surgeries
and painful healing --Vo has worked hard to become an
exceptional student and community advocate.

Besides holding numerous leadership positions, Vo has used
her drive and tenacity to benefit others, volunteering to help burn victims and
advocating for better fire safety. Honored with admission to UC Berkeley, Vo had no
idea how she would pay for school. But drawing on her tremendous resilience to
meet this new challenge, she has already applied for more than 20 scholarships, and
with the support of her community, raised more than $25,000
to pay for her first year.