SGWS Students Make Art for Social Justice

Spring Garden Waldorf Eighth graders are proud participants in the art exhibit, “Build Bridges, Not Walls” — a timely call for people to create inclusive social and political spaces, both in and out of school communities. The Akron Art Museum will showcase the exhibit on Thursday December 8th, from 5:30-8:30, in a free event open to the general public. 

Student, Karlie Koontz, explores the ramifications of LGBT isolation through sculpture.

Student, Karlie Koontz, explores the ramifications of LGBT isolation through sculpture.

Art is a bridge for meaningful change. K-12 students, aspiring school leaders and art mentors will deepen our understanding of ongoing struggles experienced by K-12 children in public schools. Through art making, the students will increase our consciousness and discuss challenges children face due to race, gender, class, sexual orientation, native language, ability, gender expression, geographic location, religion/faith/beliefs, family structure, immigration status and other dimensions of diversity.

This exhibit places social justice-oriented work at the forefront of what we do in U.S. K-12 schools to make meaningful connections among practice, policy and beliefs.

Here is the list of important topics chosen, and represented through art, by our eighth graders:

  • Dylan Knotek-BlackFunding for public schools is divided unequally in favor of richer and predominantly white schools.
  • Cameron Knotek-BlackVerbal abuse and discrimination in school and in the workplace is frequently experienced by people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
  • Ash CampbellAuthoritarian parenting is a false facade of a wall that hides a crumbling structure.
  • Catherine GreerIn their professional lives women are forced into stereotypical careers and faced with discrimination and disrespect even if they are successful, intelligent workers.
  • Ian RupertWomen have a more difficult time finding work than equally-qualified men.
  • Ian MatiasChildren with autism experience low self-image, due to verbal and physical abuse from peers.
  • Eric HuberUnarmed African-Americans are killed by police officers at a higher rate than unarmed whites.
  • Maria Barton-ThompsonWomen are sexually assaulted in their most commonly traveled places: school, work, home, and places of sanctuary.
  • Elijah FreemanPolice officers are affected by stereotypes about black people, causing them to use their weapons more frequently.
  • Karlie KoontzThe LGBT community experiences separation from people they know or trust, leading to self-harm.  
  • Mia Scott — Funding for public schools is divided unequally in favor of richer, predominantly white schools.
  • Narayan WhiteLimited internet access affects information access and educational achievement for younger people in poorer communities. 
  • Jorie CapperLGBTQ youth challenges make it difficult to progress educationally and socially.



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