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“Unity”: Poem and Painting

“Unity” is a poem and painting by Ally member Alicia Green (Central Florida ’21):

The opportunity
For a community to come together,
to break down old walls and barriers,
Letting the past teach the present,
The present holding the future.
It is a gift, magnified day by day,
By God’s grace in my heart, and with the same heart, loving and accepting my brothers and sisters of different views.
I’ve learned that listening heals.
That when the voices of tomorrow help the generations of yesteryear,
new growth begins.
Like a majestic bird, preparing the way,
knowing every day will ring forth a new challenge,
we look back to move forward.
With guided direction,
starting at our roots,
rooted in love,
loving this new found unity.
Unity in community.

Artist’s Statement:

The metaphorical symbol of the Akan people of Ghana inspired me deeply, and in our community here in Central Florida, there are beautiful peacocks that roam from neighborhood to neighborhood throughout the year, and while they are actually ingenious to Central Africa, Southeast Asia and India, they flourish, watching over one another.

I enjoy watching them, noticing their beautiful plumage, how the older peacocks lead the young and imagine the young at play as they walk, dancing around the feet of the fully grown, reminding their elders of featherless fun days and the road that lies ahead.

In Public Allies, we are the chicks seeking guidance to grow far beyond our nest or the community we serve. Some of us know our way, while others need and take more time. Learning to respect one another and the process regardless of our differences, to help build up the missing links our community desperately needs.

Rooted in our individuality, rooted in love, rooted in community.

This piece is part of Public Allies’ campaign to highlight voices of Black members, Alumni, staff, and partners throughout Black History Month.