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Martin Luther King Program

2017 Art For Social Change Competition Award Recipients

Eva Lopez painting

Remembering the Dream

Eva Lopez

My intention with this submission is to keep the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. alive. I want people to never forget what Martin Luther King Jr. fought for, the freedom, equality and dignity of all races and peoples. I also want this painting to serve as a reminder that change is possible without violence all the we have to do is rise together.

Ye Eun Park Painting

Please God

Ye Eun Park

I like to apply hidden messages. My drawing isn't completely comprehensible at first sight, but I imagined what Martin Luther King Jr. would have done when he had a dream for equality.

Camille Sessoms Painting


Camille Sessoms

 I created this piece back in 2015 after Eric Garner was murdered. I did not know then what was to come for the lives of countless Black men killed by the police in the short months after. My piece represents the beginning to what feels like an endless fight, but it also remembers those who have ignited a fire for social change. These men have inspired me to be a catalyst for social change within my community, and for that, I thank them. Though they are gone, they will never be forgotten

Crystal Roig Palmer Drawing

We All Matter

Crystal Roig-Palmer

This piece was intended to generate awareness in the suspected over representation of LGBTQ youth in our current American Juvenile Justice System. The gender-divided visual representation of the individual in this drawing is meant to amplify the limited attention given to the Trans* population in the correctional system. The Trans* population face various life-course intersects of social disparity in main stream society. Ultimately, these experienced social disadvantages can increase the likelihood for Trans* individuals to be absorbed by the correctional system. There is a great need for the correctional system to be more inclusive to the needs of the LGBTQ youth and adults

Love made us whole, Once

Basheera Agyeman


No more black Friday for me.

No more allowing myself to be pushed, tugged, bended, cussed at.

No more funding the system that systematically, institutionally, unapologetically disenfranchises me.

And by me, I mean us and by us I mean we.

Our extinction, creeping up to us like a thief in the night.

We are unheeding of the warnings though they lay in plain sight.

We whisper prayers with breaths as thin as this page

Palms super glued together, ever hopeful for change

All the while struggling against these invisible chains

And my greatest fear…

My greatest fear is that we as a nation suffer from amnesia…

That when they tell us as children, that the sky is the limit,

We will forget that they have placed on us limits,

That when we place ourselves on display

We forget Sarah Baartman, our ancestor.

How they made a mockery of her body.

How they placed us on display,

Like we were be animals. Like we were things unnatural in nature.

Fast forward and here we are. Making a mockery of ourselves.

We are caught in a coma.

Asleep. And again my greatest fear is that we forget.

And that we dishonor the legacies that our ancestors left.

Although their spirits cry out to us in the night

And manifest themselves in movements for black rights

And camouflage themselves in the blood that spills from our bodies when they make us bleed

When we make each other bleed

When we hopelessly stomp our feet

Many years have passed but they are just moments to me

The fallen won’t let me sleep

They rise like steam in the food I eat

They scream at me no justice, no peace

They urge me to no longer accept defeat

To no longer retreat in the face of adversity

In the face of so much casualty

So much loss,

So many young souls

Too many stories untold

Caught in the sorrows of these Americas

Trapped in its lonely days

Forgotten in its unmerciful ways

And here we stand, forgetful

Unbending in our traits

Blood on our feet