UNITI: Justice & Inclusion

An Exhibit of Photography, Art, and Short Poems, October 2020

Thank you to our members and supporters who shared your artistic expressions—in words and images—on the two essential concepts of Justice and Inclusion. We received words and images addressing injustices in ableness, privilege, acceptance, and a reminder of how one Italian hill town honored Black American GIs shunned by their own country. We are pleased to share them with you here. Moments of change can be traumatic but they can also be beneficial—they can be invitations to shift our individual limited perception. Awareness is the first step to action; an acknowledgement that we don't yet fully understand. We invite you to view, reflect, and share these creative responses with friends and family where they may prompt discussion. 

Click on the image (right) to also view our first UNITI Photo Exhibit, posted June 2020

Privilege, 2020
© Sharon Mentyka

I've been thinking a lot lately how, for White people, recognizing the invisible force of White privilege has to be the first step to any anti-bias work we want to accomplish. Moving through life without a constant awareness of our own race seems to me to be the ultimate privilege.

If you tell me all I need now is a soft chair, a hard pencil
and an open heart, I’ll say you are a liar.

Black marks only serve to slash and mar the whiteness
already sprinkled with holy water.

The white bones lie, conscious yet unaware of their privilege,
waiting to be unearthed from pine boxes and unmarked graves,

revealing babies masked as peonies, old men, wooden and drunken
yet loved, and orange-scarved women we fear to know.

Buffalo Soldier

Buffalo Soldier: Hero in Sommocolonia
© Nancy Josephson

The story of this Black Buffalo Soldier is harrowing yet the Italians dignified his service years before the US Army did. Now Sommocolonians forgive all the martyrs—that peace may prevail. For a well-written story of racism in American military history, see the book "Braided in Fire: Black GIs and Tuscan Villagers on the Gothic Line" by Solace Wales

A collage of text and "fair use" underlying photos include: Military portrait of John Robert Fox—Congressional Medal of Honor Society; soldiers in combat—La Gazetta del Serchio; cemetery marker—Barganews

Civita Footbridge: Welcoming All by Design

Civita Footbridge: Welcoming All by Design, 2015
© Lynnae Ruttledge

This photo was captured during our time in residence at Civita. Inclusive architectural design adds an important lens to the concept of building community. While inaccessibility affects some of us directly, it affects all of us indirectly.

Real eyes, Realize, Real lies

Real eyes, Realize, Real lies
© Iole Alessandrini

iphone image taken in West Seattle of a metal cabinet with graffitti. The sound of the words "Real eyes, Realize, Real lies" is in unison with the word "Realize" and its sense of fulfillment unites our senses.

Questions in Milan, 2019

Questions in Milan, 2019
© Katherine L. Wright

We are all born seeking something simple—to be accepted for who we are. And to be just one of anything—how would it feel?