Building a Wall of Hope

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By Barbara Young —

Walking through the Memorial Student Center this week is leading many students to wonder why there is a construction zone beside Brew Devils. Pi Lambda Phi is taking the idea of building up community hope and making it literal with their Wall of Hope week on campus.

“It is something that can represent all of their hopes for the future on campus,” said Jonathan Cardenas (5th year), Pi Lambda Phi’s vice president of education and development. “And we just thought painting bricks would be a little bit more fun and a good way for people to express their hope.”

Throughout the week of Sept. 29 through Oct. 3, the Wall of Hope is open from 8 a.m. to  midnight for students who want to paint a brick to express their idea of hope. Each brick costs $1. All proceeds go toward the Foundation of Elimination of Prejudice.

The foundation works toward putting on future programs like the Wall of Hope in an effort to educate and promote anti-prejudice ideas.

“We want students to take away the idea that everyone has hope,” Cardenas said. “Each individual who put a brick in has hope and when you put these bricks together you build a strong community.”

The week began with a speech from Wing Young Huie. “He is a professional photographer and he went and showed photos [of students with chalkboards] … on which they’d written thoughts that they had about their identity… and he went and showed these photos to larger communities,” Cardenas said.

The idea behind the project was to break down barriers between people. Cardenas felt the Wall of Hope was an appropriate small-scale way to start off a week centered around a similar idea.

“[We let] people see other people’s hopes and learn a little bit about their fellow students,” he said.

So far the event has exceeded expectations. “We are already around 200 bricks sold and we only brought 350,” Cardenas said.

The bricks are going quickly, so students who wish to add their hopes to the wall should do so soon, as the event closes at 6 p.m. on Friday.

“This is really just the beginning,” said Cardenas. “Just getting people to start thinking about some of these things and how we can be a community while still having these different hopes and desires.”

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