Painting Elkhart

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This was really exciting. To meet youth who are giving their summer to painting the side of one of the buildings in Elkhart. I appreciate them, and their teacher ArtReach Director Elizabeth Sokolowski! I have passed that building for years and never saw how it could be a canvas. They are creating a huge “paint-drips-into-human-forms” mural in which the people are dancing in a tribute to the Elkhart Jazz Festival.

It’s so great to see how a younger generation and people from different perspectives see what you did not see in your own hometown. That’s why we need each other! Our perspectives in South Central haven’t always been recognized by the powers in City Hall, but we have made ourselves heard through great community organizing over the last two decades. Now someone from our neighborhood might even become mayor! Go Rod Roberson!

Speaking of South Central Elkhart, there is a desire to preserve the mural that Kelby Love painted with the help of Mark Chupp and many people making an intervention to “Drop Your Guns!” in the summer of 1996. Now more than ever, we need that message. The building alongside it is condemned, and various efforts are underway to think about how to re-create or conserve the brilliant imagery. May we find a relevant and widely-owned way to continue to spread the message of peace and cooperation.

About SEN

Born on United Nations Day, I am actively involved in the process of figuring out how we can live together well on this planet, given our similar and different truth claims. Thanks for joining me on the journey!

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