I Am Because We Are

Throughout this school year, the JCITs have created a community of love, support and collaboration. They have learned that although it only takes one person to spark positive change, it takes a village to act on it and make those changes. Every day at our program, the JCITs are demonstrating the idea of Ubuntu: I am because we are. We feed off of each other’s ideas, energies and emotions. This creates chaos, love, frustration, and inspiration between us, some days better than others. But it is all in the name of Ubuntu: coming together as individuals to form a community and fight for positive change.

When we were presented with the idea to create an art project centered around the idea of Ubuntu, we owned it. With the help of Harvard Divinity School Graduate student Peter and Wheelock College senior Kira, the JCITs were asked to challenge their thoughts and think about how they perceive the idea of Ubuntu in their lives, community and world. Inspired by the Black Eyed Peas 2016 version of #WHEREISTHELOVE, the JCITs expressed their ideas through art, collage, song and poetry. They were given the chance to showcase their artwork in Towne Gallery at Wheelock College among many other youth groups in the Greater Boston Area.

JCIT Mara (BCLA, 9th), braved the opportunity to read aloud a poem she had written in front of all of those who attended the showcase. She powerfully presented these words that spoke of the harsh reality of our society and how it portrays and treats people of color.

“Don’t you see the root of this situation,
We cannot be divided but united.
You’ve been misguided and provided
With bias information.
It’s time to reconsider how we raise this generation.

We see children being taught the wrong
And about the color of our faces
But we need to embrace it.”

If you would like to witness the process of our art work, check out this video featuring all those involved in the artwork, as well as the artwork itself!

By Bella Vidaña, JCIT Coordinator