Talking About Ubuntu: The Youth Speak | Randolph Union High School (VT)


In Partnership with Boston University, 2021

Group Photo, Project Participants

Project Name: "Randolph Union Racial Justice Class"

Host Program: Randolph Union High School, Randolph, VT

Media: Screen print, tie-dye, laser cut

Adult Mentor: Dana Decker

BU Wheelock Student Liaison: Jordan Stevens

Youth Artists: Finnea Abdessalam, Chandler Anderson, Emily Baker, Logan Cameron, Hailey Chadwick, Isabell Graham, Phoebe Hickin, Ploy Intaradet, Seth Lyon, Samuel McIntyre, Christin Nolan, Trevor Smith

Age range: 15-18

Click here for student art sales website

Artist Statement

Randolph Union High School sits in central Vermont and is a small school dealing with many familiar challenges faced by rural America. In 2018 this racial justice class was born following calls to meet the needs of the BIPOC students in the predominantly White school. Staff and students have spent the following years exploring how race and racism affect our communities at a local, state and national scale.

This year, in the midst of the pandemic, students have spent time reading, listening, and watching a variety of sources to deepen their understanding of racism in Vermont. They have worked independently and in small groups to create racial justice-focused art-work. Students worked together to create a website that unites their mission and provides a platform to sell their work. The students committed to contribute all proceeds from their art-making sales to the Vermont BIPOC Land Trust.

Thanks to the resources provided by the school’s Innovation Center, students learned how to screen-print, use a laser-cutter and tie-dye. Through road bumps and successes, the students created a variety of artistic products for a good cause.

Project Images and Texts

Christine Nolan

Christin Nolan, "Protesters Oil Lamp," Laser printer, 2021

Childhood Homes
By Christin Nolan

I am a child from overseas
From Prague to Osaka down to Abu Dhabi
Living hotel to hotel
But no one to tell
About my time over the sea

Pencils, crayons, markers, paper scattered
But room service never cleaned the pink walls or floors that had been battered
Everything remained completely stationary

The lawn chair on the roof was the perfect place to long for more
To escape to a place warm
To wander away to cobblestone streets
To find new places to eat
But still I want to see more
and more
and more

I’m still a child from overseas
And initially love wandering in somewhere new
But whenever I’m away I long to be back home

Phoebe Hicken

Phoebe Hicken, "EMPOWER Flags," Screenprint and recycled material, 2021

Identity Poem
By Phoebe Hicken

I am a mosaic of all the people I love
I embody my mother, who taught me what it means to be a woman and be strong
I speak like my friends and I’m happy when they are happy
Sometimes I’m sad and they are sad
Maybe that’s why we’re friends
We see life the same way
As something to enjoy all the nuances of, highs and lows, while it lasts
This melting pot of all the people around me is what makes me me
I am just a girl
I love the color pink and putting on makeup
But I’m also afraid
Of a world that doesn’t uplift me
It seems the men in charge never have my best interest at heart
Femininity does not equal weakness

Ploy Intaradet

Ploy Intaradet, BLM Mirror, Laser Printer, 2021

Identity Poem
By Ploy Intaradet

I feel like Im not myself here
I can not communicate my mind
Is not my first language

In Thailand I can be myself
When I with my family and friends
I annoying and loud
I joke around
I am more myself

Right now I can't go to Thailand
I go every year to see my family and friends
I feel alone and I can't be myself

But I am strong

Isabell Graham, Chandler Anderson and Sam McIntyre

Isabell Graham and Chandler Anderson, "Black Lives Matter Tie Dye," Screen print and repurposed clothing, 2021

Identity Poem
By Sam McIntyre

A machine with purpose
trying to figure it out
Untying the knot of life while finding the key to happiness.
A wearer of the mask,
holder of the sword,
mind of the wiseman,
skills of the skillful,
scars of many.

The hearing of the earless,
The sight of the blindness.
The light of the darkness.

We all see differently,
but somehow feud
even when we agree on one.

Secrets in life stored away,
but sometimes we learn them
at the last second.