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Gwynedd Mercy University expanded its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. traditions this year to a jam-packed Advocacy Week.
Led by GMercyU’s CORE programming, the week’s events were organized by numerous departments and organizations on campus, including Black Student Union, Campus Ministry, Mission & Values Committee, and Coalition for Campus Civic Engagement.
The events focused on topics such as careers in advocacy, The Disability Inclusive Curriculum Act, Inauguration Day, and service-learning.
Assistant Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Tatiana Diaz, MA also provided her expertise and experience to the week’s planning. She suggested partnering with a local artist to commission a piece of art for GMercyU with the theme centered on social justice.
The University partnered with Alloyius Mcilwaine, a Philadelphia-based, self-taught artist. His latest series, according to his website, incorporates aspects of graffiti, street art, comic book art, traditional art, and abstract art.
“We always knew we wanted to base the mural theme on an MLK quote, but we also wanted to make sure to select one that felt right considering everything our country has been through recently,” Associate Director for Leadership Programs Ali Jabara Johnston, MS said. “We selected the quote, ‘The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we die.’”
GMercyU CORE Programs solicited students feedback from the prompt “Tell us how you live this quote in 2021: The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die ― Martin Luther King Jr.”
Alloyius then took the responses and created a one-of-a-kind mural for the University (see image above). The GMercyU Community was able to watch the creation in real-time through an Instagram Live event.
The mural will be displayed on Gwynedd Mercy University’s Gwynedd Valley campus.