Unsilence Voices: The Sisterhood is a collaborative initiative designed to harness and amplify the powerful voices of braveChicago mothers who have lost a child to senseless gun violence. Renowned artist and educator, Cecil McDonald, will capture the lived truths of these mothers and their journeys through grief, activism, and healing. A live interactive exhibition will engage the public in crucial conversations around the intersections of race, violence, media narratives, and collective trauma.
A stunning 2,758 people were shot in Chicago last year and gun violence disproportionately affects communities of color, particularly young black men. One grieving mother recently said, "Some people don't even see us as human." Their stories go untold and their humanity is questioned. We must humanize the individuals lost to gun violence and amplify their stories in order to bring people together who are motivated to create lasting solutions.
"Each time we tell our story, we heal a little, and people care a little more." Unsilence is: 1.) Partnering artists with underrepresented, grieving mothers to tell their authentic stories. 2.) Designing an interactive exhibition experience (live and digital) that engages both local and national audiences in crucial and difficult conversations around gun violence. 3.) Creating a new narrative by deeply investigating, documenting, and publicly representing the humanness of marginalized voices.
We envision this project serving as a model for future collaborations to engage the public in addressing critical issues of society. These collective dialogues are essential in dismantling the public narratives and ingrained prejudices, creating empathetic solutions and dismantling the institutional, cultural and personal forms of silencing that perpetuate these tragedies. Through community support and collaboration, we will create solutions for social change and community safety.