STRONGER TOGETHER

Stronger Together by Morgan Cole

Today, the National School Walkout is drawing attention to student voices that began challenging public opinions immediately following last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Student voices matter. As we stop and listen to their ideas about the kind of world they want to live in, today’s students remind even the most world-weary adults that we too once believed in something better.

The recent Dream & Do Art Challenge, sponsored by Pennsylvania College of Technology and WVIA Public Media, producers of the Working Class public television documentary series, invited student artists to depict the world as they imagine it.

My most recent blog featured a student work titled Light the Way, which judges selected as the favorite entry from grades 7-12. Now, I would like to showcase the work of Southern Columbia High School student Morgan Cole.

This is how Morgan described the inspiration behind her piece, Stronger Together:

“The concept of complete togetherness and unity is an ideal held in high regard. We would be foolish, however, if we didn’t admit that it has also scared and intimidated the human race since its inception. 

Whether it be racism, sexism, homophobia, war, or even genocide, we as a people have taken extreme measures to avoid the unknown.  Yet, despite this, we strive towards the unknown every day in search of a solution to our most pressing problems. 

The human race is faced with a double-edged sword of our own creation.  We can choose to remain content with our own isolated perspectives.  Or, we can come together and make the daunting problems faced today the accomplishments of tomorrow. 

We can alleviate world hunger, provide clean drinking water to all, end deforestation and pollution, stop the extinction of wildlife caused by humans, end racism, shatter the glass ceiling, and achieve the unimaginable when we unite. 

It’s time that we understand that the root of our fear exists not in each other, but in what we might accomplish – when we overlook unimportant differences – together.”

This is a student voice – and an artistic vision – that is worthy of our attention.

The vision and the voices of today’s high school students will guide our world in the not-too-distant future. It is important that we encourage students to express themselves responsibly and creatively as activists and artists who inspire positive change.

The human race is faced with a double-edged sword of our own creation.  We can choose to remain content with our own isolated perspectives.  Or, we can come together and make the daunting problems faced today the accomplishments of tomorrow.

Every generation faces its own challenges in determining what the world will be for future generations. The compelling messages of today’s student artists and activists convince me they have the potential to imagine and create a better world.

Let’s join with them and support a new vision for a better world. We can become stronger, together.

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