First OMA Vernon Hill Elementary Art Initiative
Worcester State University students will organize and work with a group of 20-25 students identified by Vernon Hill Elementary School to create artistic representations of this year’s MLK Jr. Youth Breakfast theme. It will be accompanied by a free and non-partisan curriculum that will address Civic Engagement: The History and Importance of Voting and Modern Day Voting Rights.
Last year, Martin Luther King III and his family called into action ‘there should be no MLK Jr. Day celebrations without meaningful voting rights legislation.” Arndrea Waters King said, “Voting is an essential part of our democracy’s infrastructure, and we cannot afford for it to crumble any further.” This year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Youth Breakfast theme will focus on, ‘the importance of our communities’ civil rights to voting.’ As we continue to embody MLK Jr.’s courage and message to call our democracy into providing access to voting as an essential part of our civil rights, students created a painting that reflects this year’s theme, “Give us the Ballot.”
Martin Luther King Jr. fought for civil rights which included the right to vote. A true depiction of Martin Luther King Jr. is his leadership in spreading the message that we deserve the right to vote and to keep on fighting for the right to vote and access to voting.
Through this artwork, the message of voting is clear, every patriotic individual in the United States deserves the right to vote. This particular depiction of MLK was based on patriotic colors: red, white, and blue. The work is divided into three sections red, light blue, and blue with each section representing a different meaning of what the right to vote was to MLK and what it should mean to us. The red section represents the support system that MLK Jr had around him. He never acted alone, he had a village – a support system that included fellow activists, family, and friends. The light blue section (white) represents MLK Jr.’s vision for the greater good of the people. The dark blue section (blue) represents the people he fought for –everyone and his spread of the idea for people to understand civil rights. He gave people the assurance to fight for the right to vote and to pursue good decisions for the greater good.
This is our time to continue from where MLK started by continuing to fight for the right to vote. We cannot stop now. The image in this piece might be MLK Jr, but it is a true representation of us – what we stand and fight for today. Now is the time, so give us the ballot.
Maria Orozco Orjuela
Campus & Site Supervisor(s)
Office of Multicultural Affairs:
Robert Jennings, Outreach Coordinator
Laxmi Bissoondial, Director
Vernon Hill School Elementary:
Craig Dottin, Principal