THE SISTERHOOD: AN UNSILENCE INTERACTIVE EXHIBIT amplifies voices of The Sisterhood, a collective of mothers, all women of color, each of whom has lost a child to gun violence. WITH YOUR SUPPORT, Unsilence collected testimonies and, featuring photographs by artist Cecil McDonald, created a free and open access digital exhibit narrated by the mothers. PLEASE SUPPORT OUR NEXT PHASE to design a free educator guide for classroom use and community learning, and to build the exhibit's audience.
Gun violence disproportionately affects communities of color, particularly young black men. In 2020 so far, 3,041 people have been shot in Chicago alone. One grieving mother explains: "Some people don't even see us as human." The media too often portrays their children in a negative light, their humanity is questioned, and their true stories go untold. We must humanize the individuals lost to gun violence. Their stories can bring people together and drive real dialogue to find lasting solutions.
"Each time we tell our story, we heal a little, and people care a little more." The goals of this project are (1) To unsilence the personal and collective grief, trauma, activism, and healing of mothers of color whose children have been killed by gun violence. (2) To humanize the mothers' murdered children who are so often portrayed in a negative light by the media. (3) To help communities across Chicago talk about systemic violence and justice, because we can only solve this crisis together.
We hope this project will serve as a model for future collaborations to engage the public in addressing critical injustices in our society. These collective dialogues are essential to challenging public misconceptions and ingrained prejudices, creating empathetic solutions, and dismantling the institutional, cultural, and personal silencing that perpetuate these injustices. Through community support and collaboration, we will create lasting solutions for social change and community safety.