Teaching Tolerance Murals


2009 (Moira Fratantuono and Kursten Pickup)

In 2009, RYP staff members Moira Fratantuono and Kursten Pickup decided enough was enough. They had heard too many stories of bullying, discrimination and ignorance. Fights broke out on a weekly basis between newly arrived refugee youth, primarily from West Africa, and their African American peers. Staff designed a six month curriculum to encourage cultural sharing through art. After collaborating with the principal at Furman Templeton Elementary School, they agreed to use the eight core values of the school as a platform for designing after-school program lessons: Respect, Responsibility, Compassion, Courage, Wisdom, Justice, Hope and Integrity. The following goals were accomplished: 1) students got to know each other, deepened cultural understanding, and built relationships that went beyond the classroom, and 2) students improved their art-making skills through the mural-making process.