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Messages of diversity and inclusion to adorn Moravian student center
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)—Moravian College will soon mount a mural display that features a collection of thought-provoking and moving quotations about diversity and inclusion. The diversity mural, comprised of four large wall panels, will be installed in the Pavilion area of the Huppert Union Building on Wednesday morning, August 27. The panels contain an artistic presentation of quotes from a variety of prominent individuals—including civil rights and religious leaders, philosophers, humanitarians, poets, and writers. The quotes reflect a wide range of perspectives from an ethnically diverse group of people throughout history and from around the globe.
The project began over a year ago when the College solicited quotations from Moravian College students, faculty, and staff that would affirm the institution’s commitment to diversity. “The response was thoughtful and overwhelming,” said Mike Seidl, assistant to the president. “We discovered that just as we at Moravian celebrate our differences—whether intellectual, religious, racial, or ethnic—we also seek a common ground in which those differences are joined in shared human experience and purpose.”
The project was guided by Sharon Brown, director of institutional diversity and multicultural affairs, who led an ad-hoc group of student, faculty, and administrators. Anne Dutlinger, art department chair and assistant professor of art, worked with graphic design students Erin Boyle ’02, and Lauren Nicholas ’01 to design the layout of the quotations. Brown is particularly impressed with the message that the new mural conveys. “We felt that we needed a visual symbol that reflects one of our core values at Moravian,” she said.
Two panels will be installed on the inside wall of the Pavilion cupola. One includes a quote from abolitionist Frederick Douglas, “The mind does not take its complexion from the skin.” The same panel contains a quote from a 14th century Moravian theologian, Jan Hus, “Love the truth. Let others have their truth, and the truth will prevail.” A quote from Jewish scholar Rabbi Hillel reads, “If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, who am I?” An excerpt from a poem by Mexico’s Octavio Paz, a Nobel Laureate in Literature, is presented in his native Spanish and an English translation.
A second panel features a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Another quote by Leontyne Price, a Mississippi musician and opera singer, notes that “Accomplishment has no color.” Poet Maya Angelou is also represented: “Prejudice is a burden that confuses the past, threatens the future, and renders the present inaccessible.” Civil rights advocate Nelson Mandela is also quoted, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Words of Eleanor Roosevelt’s are also featured: “No one can make you inferior unless you agree to it.”
Another long wall in the Pavilion will hold a panel with a quote from French dramatist Jean Giraudoux, “There are no elements so diverse that they cannot be joined in the heart.” Mother Theresa is quoted, “If you judge a person, you have not time to love them.” From Harriet Tubman, a former slave who worked to free other slaves, “I was free, but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.” There are also quotes from Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu and Hopi Native American writer Polingaysi Qoyawama.
A panel on the back wall of the Pavilion affirms a shared value at Moravian which is contained in the College’s strategic plan: “Diversity—The best education brings together a diverse population of men and women in a climate that values equality, promotes mutual respect, and explores the benefits and challenges of living in an inclusive and pluralistic world.”