A Choice of Nonviolence

"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a [hu]man, but you refuse to hate him [or her]." Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Project Goals--brick by brick

Our Sanctuary and Deliverance Project wants to re-affirm lessons from our Southwest Michigan past.
The goals are to readily communicate these values via public art:
-create a work of art that instills pride and solidarity in the residents of Cass County
-accurately depict and write the history of the Kentucky Raid by writing a pamphlet and discussion guide and designing portable banners that supplement and elaborate on the depictions in the mural
-engage local residents of Cass County and visitors in discussions of the ethical choices the people of Cass County faced during the Kentucky Raid and the relevance of those choices today
-provide forums for discussion and writing about the Kentucky Raid and related topics that capture a diversity of voices
-inspire local Cass County residents and visitors to adopt the values of social justice, compassion and cooperation

The Michigan Humanities Council in Lansing, MI approved Sanctuary and Deliverance mural project as a catalyst for social change and a way to positively connect with local history. The Cassopolis Vigilant (on 2-18-2010) quoted our scholar, Veta Tucker, as saying: “There was a special community here in Cass County, a community where free African Americans worked their own land, established their own churches, started businesses, and enjoyed some of the same rights their white neighbors enjoyed. We need to celebrate this history.”

Join us in the process! As lead artist, Ruth Andrews, scales the wall, envision each brick as a connection to the past as well as a bridge to the present. Help us re-build our community in an honorable venue and consider volunteering!

“This project is funded in part by the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.”

Friday, March 12, 2010

Black History Breakfast Features Sonya Hollins

The featured speaker for the Minority Coalition's
Annual Black History breakfast was Sonya Bernard-Hollins, author of Here I Stand, a Musical History of African Americans in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Hollins, co-owner of Fortitude Graphic Design of Kalamazoo with her husband Sean Hollins, spoke of
the rich history of African American ingenuity in southwest Michigan. A strong promoter of self-publishing, Sonya Hollins is collaborating with Dr. Veta Tucker and Dr. Alisea Williams McLeod on a publication focused on the Kentucky Raid of 1847, a critical event in the history of the Underground Railroad in Cass County, Michigan. Dr. Tucker also spoke at the breakfast. She expressed the importance of continually rewriting history as new information becomes available. This summer the Minority Coalition plans to install in Downtown Cassopolis a mural depicting the Raid.