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Boston teens share dreams

Several teens and pre-teens from the Bird Street Community Center in Boston read essays inspired by the dreams of Nelson Mandela and other social leaders at the What’s My Dream Showcase, an essay contest, at the Iwasaki Library on April 2.

Bird St.

One of several Bird Street Community Center youth at Emerson on April 2. (Photo by Maya Rafie '17)

The Emerson/Bird Street Civic Engagement Project provides a forum for at-risk youth to engage in dialogue with Emerson students, faculty, and alumni in the joint effort to pursue nonviolent options to conflict resolution.

Among those in attendance were Sylvia Spears, vice president of Emerson’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and Gregory Payne, associate professor of Communication Studies, who oversees the civic engagement effort.


Sylvia Spears, vice president of Diversity and Inclusion, at the What's My Dream? event on April 2. (Photo by Maya Rafie '17)

The essays were inspired by the dreams of Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and President Barack Obama, as depicted by three Mexican artists who visited Emerson earlier this year and worked with the Bird Street youth.

Ohio-born artist Derrick “Maurice” Sanderson served as a guest judge. Sanderson’s artwork is on display at the Iwasaki Library in an exhibit, Eclectic Artology, from April 5 to May 1.


Cards depicting the paintings of King, Mandela, and Obama by the three Mexican artists who recently visited Emerson. (Photo by Maya Rafie '17)

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