Banner Art: Gallery-goers view collage in the exhibit "Ubuntu in the Works," April 2008
This mosaic piece was inspired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s visit to Wheelock College in October, 2007, when we were first introduced to the idea of Ubuntu. The layered images represent the themes of Ubuntu and the base layer is composed of many of the photographs of youth and mentors who attended the event, Bridges to Hope and Understanding: Exploring Truth and Reconciliation, a large Youth Symposium held on the day of Tutu’s visit. The mosaic also includes many others who serve as mentors or are participating or have participated in “Ubuntu in the Works,” which means living in the spirit of Ubuntu, with humaneness, compassion, and caring.
On another layer young people from St. Stephen’s after-school program can be seen holding flowers and placing flowers in gun barrels, depicting the overwhelming sentiment of our youth that they long to find ways to create peace and end violence in their neighborhoods. The essence of a healthy community is an appreciation of human dignity, justice and equality, which arise from the sense that my humanity is inextricably connected to your humanity—“I am because you are.” The mosaic represents the powerful relationship each of us has to community and to each other and serves as a symbol of the importance of creating support, opportunity, success, and peace for our young people and our communities.