“Our Immigrant Voices” Banner on Display in Whitmore

The campus community is invited to view the 20-foot mural “Our Immigrant Voices,” on display in Whitmore Administration Building, third floor, until March 1.

The installation is a product of the first Our Immigrant Voices course, an 11-week class designed to bring together immigrant campus employees to get to know each other and to discuss ways they would like to amplify their voices.

The mural, on the corridor wall leading to the office of Student Activities and Campus Life, features photos of participants and quotes reflecting their experiences as immigrants on campus and in the larger community.

One employee said: “I want you to see me as you see yourself. I want you to give me the same treatment that you want given to you. I want you to respect me and accept my differences. As you want to be accepted and respected.”

Another said the course offered “a safe space, an open space, a space for listening and sharing. I looked forward to it every week because it was a chance to learn, to garner newfound respect for a diverse group representing a different side of UMass Amherst.”

The Our Immigrant Voices course launched in spring 2018 as part of the Building Bridges initiative.

“The participants in the “Our Immigrant Voices” course come from a variety of different units across campus and from many countries around the world,” says Jacob Carter, co-facilitator of the course. “Without this course, they would likely never be in the same room together, forming friendships and learning from each other’s experiences but also collectively creating a message to share with the campus community.”

The course is available in the fall and spring semesters. It is made available through the UMass Labor/Management Workplace Education Program.

For more information, contact Carter at jacarter@umass.edu

The next installation will be created during the spring semester and will be on display at the Building Bridges Showcase on April 9 in the Fine Arts Center.

Building Bridges is a public art and engagement campus initiative designed to invite people with different personal backgrounds—across race, religion, class, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability and nationality—to connect and strengthen community.