Enacting Change : UC Merced Arts 71 Student Mural

When asked what they would like to change, the students in Karen LeCocq's intermediate painting class responded: breaking stereotypes, proper education for every child, attitudes toward race, class and gender, equal opportunity, diversity, coming together, more understanding, and less hate. Among the things the students were against: segregation, prejudice, hate, war, destruction, poverty, ignoring social problems, denial, public apathy, capitalizing on the weak and war and violence as a means to solve problems. They believed in education for everyone, individuality , equal rights for everyone, and they wished for everyone to live in harmony with compassion for all.

Coming up with images to match beliefs was not an easy task. Someone suggested to do it with children, a positive and a negative portrayal. The images for the positive became children playing learning, having fun, and relating to one another in a kind and positive manner. The negative showed real life children soldiers with guns, children with toy guns learning how to be violent, angry children with bad attitudes, all isolated, alone and coping with the world the way they have been taught.

A fence divides the two groups. On the fence is a statement by Gandhi, " Be the change you want to see in the world."

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