What do you see when you think about diversity? That’s the question that Charlotte artist Edwin Gil is asking children around the state. Several hundred students across North Carolina are participating in his Painting 4 Diversity project, which asks them to create art that conveys their vision of diversity. Edwin is a Colombian immigrant who uses his art to bridge cultural divides in our increasingly diverse society. Last year, he created the Flag of Hope, which some of you participated in.
Uniting NC partnered up with Gil again this year to find Painting 4 Diversity participants in Raleigh, and we decided to take an even broader view than usual of “diversity.” That’s why we invited students at the Gov. Morehead School for the Blind to participate in the art contest. These visually impaired students come from across the state to study, and they represent a broad array of races and backgrounds.
Earlier this week, Edwin traveled to Raleigh so the students could personally present their art to him. On May 5, their art projects will be displayed and judged among hundreds of other entries at an exhibition in Charlotte. But the real prize was watching the excited students show off their artwork to Edwin and his team. It was a special moment where we all learned a little more about what diversity and inclusion really mean.