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Posters From Mending Fences On Exhibit In Libraries

Updated: Oct. 18, 2002
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos by Colleen Kelley
Archive: General News

"Created in Love, We Walk as One.

"Never forget those we have lost. They will always be in our hearts. And never forget who are yet to come for we have to make a better world for them."

Those expressions were just a small representative of Mending Fences, the UC- sponsored event earlier this month that turned the construction fencing on McMicken Commons into a canvas for participants to express their feelings about recent events affecting the nation and the community, as well as reflect hope for the future. Rabbinic intern Phylis Sommer at Mending Fences

"What is most exciting about Mending Fences is that this is the largest posters-for-peace effort taking place in the country at an institution of higher education," said co-organizer Steve Sunderland, professor of Social Work. "I hope that the hundreds of posters created and discussed will infuse the campus with the central questions about peace and war facing our world right now."

For two days, Oct. 1-2, students, faculty and staff, as well as the public, used cardboard and markers to create the posters. Many went up before the Oct. 1 opening ceremony, including posters made during UC's international student orientation. Those posters had the word "peace" written in several different languages.

"What we have behind us is a canvas from students, faculty and staff who expressed their reflections, as well as members of the religious community," said Mitchel D. Livingston, Vice President for Student Affairs and Services, as the formal opening for Mending Fences was held. Shareef Dabdoub at Mending Fences

Other speakers included Darren Tolliver, UC Student Body President, Father Al Hirt of St. Monica/St. George Parish Newman Center, Rev. Paul Sittason Stark of the Wesley Foundation, Phylis Sommer, a Rabbinic intern at Hillel Jewish Student Center, Shareef Dabdoub, treasurer of the UC Muslim Students Association and Sunderland.

Sommer remarked on the campus remembrances and reflections. "We live in the image of God when we consider their lives with joy. We live in the image of God when we take time to consider how our actions affect others. We live in the image of God when we start to build bridges instead of burning them."

Dabdoub said that a common greeting from Muslims around the world is 'Peace be upon you.' "Initiatives like Mending Fences work toward that goal," he said.

Sunderland, recently back from visiting the sites of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, said, "We are a university in renewal, just as the world is in renewal. Les Vuylsteke, University Libraries, looks over the posters at Mending Fences

"UC is the center for peace, honoring all that are here and honoring study and thought about peace."

Sunderland adds that at least 120 of the posters were created by international students, nearly 90 came from the residence halls, 25 from the UC Medical Center, and more than 100 from Raymond Walters College before Mending Fences officially got underway.

The posters were up for two days on McMicken Commons and are now on display in Langsam and Blegen Libraries. The exhibits are located on the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of Langsam Library and in the fourth floor lobby display area of Blegen Library. They'll remain on display through Dec. 8. Display on the 4th floor of Blegen Library

"University Libraries was proud to get involved in the Mending Fences program," said Dean and University Librarian Victoria Montavon. "As a gathering place for students and faculty alike, we felt Langsam and Blegen Libraries were the perfect venues for displaying the art created by members of the UC community."

Sunderland adds that Mending Fences exhibits will also be located in the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, and at University Hall beginning Nov. 1.

Complete Coverage of Reflections on September 11.

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