"We were born on the African savanna." - The Genographic Project
"To learn, I believe, is to become, to become different." - Maxine Greene
"To photograph is to confer importance." - Susan Sontag
"Let's encourage individuals to know each other, reduce prejudice, develop open minds, enrich lives and open communication." - Morrisville State College Diversity Statement
When Sesame Street started on public television forty years ago, officials in Mississippi banned the show because it showed black and white kids playing together. At the time, very few streets in Mississippi or across the country looked like Sesame Street. And, despite the struggles of many people, there are still not that many today. However, imagining those streets is the key to creating them.
For many of us, higher education and/or the military are the places where we will first face the tension of our beliefs about race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Sharing the street with people different from us may make us feel uncomfortable, but this tension provides opportunities for imagination and communication.
What I see communicated here in both the signs and the photographs is joy; a pleasure in taking time to share. I imagine streets with people from this wall, all playing together.
This is Morrisville is a moment to confer importance on who we are, to notice our tensions, and to become different; to remember that we were all "born on the African savanna."
This is Morrisville is supported by the Sheila Johnson Institute