Today’s Art and Soul Event
October 1, 2020
This afternoon, NIU’s Center for Black Studies and the College of Visual of Performing Arts is hosting “Art and Soul” – a social justice event for the community to come together and acknowledge the important fact that Black lives matter. During today’s event, which features live music and performances, individuals are welcome to contribute to a temporary street mural by helping to paint the words “Black Lives Matter” on Castle Drive. All participants are expected to wear masks and abide by physical distancing requirements.
Bringing people together peacefully in this way visualizes NIU’s mission, vision and values. What it is not meant to do is represent or promote any organization or political viewpoint. It’s simply about human rights.
Activities such as today’s also reflect our commitment to freedom of expression, ensuring that all members of the community have the broad latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge and learn. With this commitment also comes the need for us to understand that differing viewpoints and ways of expressing them should be expected when members of the university community or the public choose to express their thoughts and opinions. The university’s responsibility is to help foster a safe environment in which all voices may be heard, differences can be explored, ideas discussed and society advanced.
As always, I encourage us all to positively contribute to our society by engaging in meaningful dialogue and leading with respect.
Lisa C. Freeman