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UC Invites Community to Join "Mending Fences" On McMicken Commons

Date: Sept. 27, 2002
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: General News

The Greater Cincinnati community is invited to participate in Mending Fences, a time for reflection and a time for healing, Oct. 1-2 on the University of Cincinnati's McMicken Commons. During the event, the construction fencing around McMicken Commons will be transformed into a canvas on which participants can express their feelings about the difficult times affecting the nation and the community, as well as reflect hope for the future.

Mending Fences will begin with a noon ceremony Oct. 1. Mitchel D. Livingston, UC Vice President for Student Affairs and Services and Darren Tolliver, UC Student Body President and student representative for the UC Board of Trustees, will share their reflections on Mending Fences. Representatives from Cincinnati's religious community will also take part in the opening ceremony.

"This activity provides a timely opportunity for the university and the larger Cincinnati community to come together and express our commitments to peace and healing here at home and around the world," says Livingston.

The concept of Mending Fences developed after UC Social Work Professor and grief counselor Steve Sunderland took cardboard and markers to assist people in voicing their concerns after the unrest in Cincinnati in April 2001, as well as after 9-11. He says participants do not need to have an art background to lend their voice to Mending Fences. "Most people who do the posters report some feeling of having healed from the experience of having to draw out what they feel about 9-11," says Sunderland. "They are grateful for having the chance to reflect and communicate their wounded feelings about this tragedy."

A tent will be set up near the Preview Pavilion on McMicken Commons, where participants can get free cardboard and markers to make their posters.

UC Preparations for Mending Fences

  • UC students started working on posters before the start of school. As the university held observances on the anniversary of Sept. 11, students attending the international student orientation created posters with the word "peace" written in their own languages. Ron Cushing, director of UC International Student Services, says more than 100 students joined the effort.
    Cushing adds that posters reflecting the new regulations regarding international students -- regulations resulting from the Sept. 11 attacks -- were also made by workers in the International Students Office. UC's international students will be working on more posters at 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, in Dabney Hall.

  • At the UC Medical Center, the UC medical community is contributing art, reflections and poetry on a large 16' by 8' poster, located across from the Medical School Library in the Medical Sciences Building. Educational consultant Carla Sweeney, MD says the poster, titled "UC College of Medicine Remembers Sept. 11," went up Sept. 10. Sweeney says more than 50 members of the medical community have contributed their reflections, and that submissions continue to this day. The poster will be taken from the Medical Center Sept. 30 and relocated to McMicken Commons as part of Mending Fences.

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