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PicMonkey Collage

Despues de retornar a Casa y sentarme a recordar las experiencias vividas el jueves durante el opening de mi exhibición, es imposible no escribir algunas palabras de agradeciemiento para Ustedes.

En Mis obras se ve reflejado como con trozos de vidrio puedes crear la más hermosa obra maestra, construir “Arte” con pedazos de diferentes tamaños, formas, y colores es el reflejo exacto de la vida; La vida está llena de situaciones diferentes, algunas más brillantes que otras, tonos claros y oscuros vemos a diarios con nuestras experiencias vividas, momentos que Al final hacen parte de una obra maestra “nuestra vida”.  hoy, estoy seguro que el opening fue un trozo de brillo para mi obra:  brillo,  porque en mi vida resaltará por  siempre lo grato de compartir con ustedes y celebrar el arte upcycling. Read more

Edwin Hernandez - Nations Ford Elementary - Faces of Diversity
December 19, 2013
 
 
Media Contact
Brian Cockman
877-210-3737, ext. 1
NATIONS FORD STUDENT BECOMES LATEST FACES OF DIVERSITY INSPIRATION
Little Boy’s Courage During Adversity Sets Tone For Amazing Art Piece

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – (December 19, 2013) – Faces of Diversity, an international art enterprise that breaks down stereotypes using art, today announced Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’ (CMS) Nations Ford Elementary School will become the latest school to receive a Faces of Diversity by artist Edwin Gil. As part of the CMS’ Making It Better character development initiative, Faces of Diversity uses experiential art activities to encourage respectful dialogue and understanding among students, staff, and the community. Gil collected more than 700 Nations Ford Elementary School student thumbprints during the week of December 16 and created a giant 8′ X 8′ face, which will be unveiled on December 20, 2013 at Nations Ford Elementary School, 8300 Nations Ford Road, Charlotte, NC 28217 at 10:00 a.m.

“We are honored to be a part of such an amazing project that addresses bullying in our schools,” says Omar Jorge, Partner at Compare Foods Supermarkets and Faces of Diversity Corporate Sponsor. “Nations Ford Elementary is a very diverse school, so initiatives like Faces of Diversity are crucial in promoting inclusion, acceptance and respect among students.”

“Faces of Diversity continues to build student confidence as it helps to ensure all students are valued regardless of their station in life,” says Brian Cockman, President of Rooster Communications and Faces of Diversity Co-Creator. “Partnering with the CMS’ Making It Better initiative was a natural fit since both programs seek to unite students and the communities in which they live.”

Edwin Hernandez was selected as Nations Ford Elementary’s face in the Faces of Diversity program. Hernandez was chosen to represent the school as result of his work ethic, perseverance, respect for his fellow students, and courage amidst a serious medical condition. He has overcome many obstacles in his life and is a first generation U.S. citizen of Mexican decent. Hernandez confronts these medical challenges head on and never makes excuses. He treats all students equally, does not ask for special treatment, and does so because he believes it is the right thing to do. His actions and maturity make him an excellent role model for all Nations Ford students.

The CMS Making It Better Initiative works with Faces of Diversity to tell the stories of 10 students within the district who stood for a cause.  The entire student body gets involved, hearing Edwin Gil’s own story, while becoming an integral part of the art piece with their thumbprint.

Most recently, Faces of Diversity has worked with Harding University High School in Mecklenburg County and Iredell-Statesville Schools’ Statesville High in addition to Union County Public Schools. Its international reach extends to Medellin, Colombia in which a team of volunteers worked with pre-school children and their families. For more information on Faces of Diversity, visitwww.EdwinGil.com.

 

About Nations Ford Elementary School: Nations Ford Elementary School offers a positive and nurturing environment that provides meaningful opportunities for overcoming adversity and developing students’ strengths that produces leadership,responsibility, and academic success.

 

About Faces of Diversity: Faces of Diversity helps promote diversity and multicultural awareness through hands on art activities and thoughtful conversation. It reaffirms a sense of unity and connection among diverse groups by demonstrating how our differences should be respected and celebrated. Contemporary, conceptual artist, Edwin Gil, shares his personal story of triumph over tragedy, leads workshops, and creates a large 8′ X 8′ piece of artwork using participant thumbprints. The ‘face of diversity’ is gifted to each participating organization and serves as a reminder that our collective strength comes from our individual talents and unique personalities.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – (OCTOBER 7, 2013) – Faces of Diversity, an international art enterprise that breaks down stereotypes using art, today announced Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’ (CMS) Harding University High School will become its latest participant. As part of the CMS’ Making It Better character development initiative, Faces of Diversity uses experiential art activities to encourage respectful dialogue and understanding among students, staff, and the community. Gil collected more than 1,000 Harding University High student thumbprints during the week of September 9 and is currently creating a giant 8’ X 8’ face, which will be unveiled on October 8, 2013 at Harding University High School, 2001 Alleghany St, at 9:30AM.

 

“We are thrilled to be a part of such a worthwhile and prosperous program,” says Greg Crumpton, President/Founder of AirTight and Faces of Diversity Corporate Sponsor. “Faces of Diversity has made an impact on many and are deeply touched by the efforts of everyone involved. We continue to be amazed by the heartfelt art that Edwin Gil puts forth in order to recognize these fine students.  Whether at home or abroad, the Crumpton’s and AirTight Mechanical are proud to support this high quality initiative.”

 

“Faces of Diversity provides learning opportunities for students’ to experience artists in action, working for a cause,” says Dr. Deb Kaclik, Director of Arts, Health, Physical Education, and PreK-12 Curriculum Support Programs, CMS. “The CMS Making It Better Initiative partnered with Faces of Diversity on this community project that will tell the story of 10 students within the district that stood for a cause.  The entire student body gets involved, hearing Edwin Gil’s own story, while becoming an integral part of the art piece with their thumbprint. For students this signifies unity, understanding, empathy, and a commitment to Making It Better in their schools and communities.”

 

Tatyana Matthews was selected as Harding University High School’s Face of Diversity due to her campus engagement, involvement, leadership, scholarship, and commitment to the ideals that align with anti-bullying and community building. Her personality and positivity attracted those from all circles, as she was able to make friends in the diverse community of students.

 

Most recently, Faces of Diversity has worked with Iredell-Statesville Schools’ Statesville High in addition to Union County Public Schools. Its international reach extends to Medellin, Colombia in which a team of volunteers worked with pre-school children and their families. For more information on Faces of Diversity, visit www.EdwinGil.com.

 

About Harding University High School: Harding University High School offers a challenging program of academic study designed to prepare all students for success beyond high school.  The curriculum incorporates real-world experiences within a college preparatory teaching/learning environment that nurtures the development of students as active citizens, leaders, scholars, and researchers.

 

About Faces of Diversity: Faces of Diversity helps promote diversity and multicultural awareness through hands on art activities and thoughtful conversation. It reaffirms a sense of unity and connection among diverse groups by demonstrating how our differences should be respected and celebrated. Contemporary, conceptual artist, Edwin Gil, shares his personal story of triumph over tragedy, leads workshops, and creates a large 8’ X 8’ piece of artwork using participant thumbprints. The ‘face of diversity’ is gifted to each participating organization and serves as a reminder that our collective strength comes from our individual talents and unique personalities.

 

Jennifer McLain

The Faces of Diversity is such an amazing project that gets everyone involved. Without this component of the project, people wouldn’t be as involved or as excited about our new bullying initiative. I am so glad that Edwin Gil took the time to craft our face of diversity! I think the face has brought a lot to the table here at Statesville High. It has already had a positive impact on our school culture and classroom climates! Mr. Gil has done an awesome job and has put forth so much time and effort! Thank you Mr.Gil for your hard work! Also, our principal, Mr. Rose has been such a help by providing a space for Edwin, being so hospitable and helping out in any way he can! I know he is excited about what has been sparked by the Ignite Summit and Statesville High! He loves his Greyhounds!

Unveiling Faces ofDiversity at Statesville High School

Record & Landmark News paper

By Preston Spencer

Statesville High School unveiled artwork on Wednesday meant to celebrate diversity in what officials hope is the latest step in stopping bullying.

“Faces of Diversity” was revealed in the lobby of Mac Gray Auditorium during a brief morning ceremony attended by a few dozen students. The artwork, which is made up of sliced glass, was constructed by artist Edwin Gil, who has worked with several school systems on promoting tolerance of others.

More than 1,200 SHS students fingerprinted pieces of glass for the picture, which was created in the image of SHS Freshman Jennifer McLain, who organized an all-day anti-bullying event at the school last Thursday.

SHS became the sixth school, including one in Medellin, Colombia, to work with Gil on the Faces of Diversity initiative, an international project seeking to break down stereotypes through art. Gil, who grew up in extreme poverty, said it was “such an honor” to support the message behind the initiative.

“Tears came to my eyes this week when I was finishing the project,” said Gil.

Using all the different fingerprints from students demonstrates how people’s differences can come together to create something beautiful.

“We wanted to show how treating someone with respect and dignity…is at the core of what it means to be human,” said Brian Cockman, president of Rooster Communications and co-creator of Faces of Diversity.

McLain and Iredell-Statesville Schools’ administration worked over the summer to organize last week’s Ignite Summit, where students from all district middle and high schools gathered to design plans to stop bullying in each of their schools.

McLain, who was inspired to hold the summit after enduring years of being bullied, said on Wednesday that she hoped the artwork made in her likeness would have a positive impact on classrooms across the school system.

Mount Mourne IB student Jacob Ramsey attended the summit and Wednesday’s presentation, and said he thought the work begin done to combat bullying was wonderful. Ramsey is North Carolina’s Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Syndrome Association, and has experienced his own share of being picked on due to his disorder.

“Everybody’s different and everybody should be treated the same even though they’re different,” said Ramsey.

SHS Principal Garriot Rose told students on Wednesday that more important than their grades or popularity is how they treat and interact with each other.

“Those are the tools that make us as successful as we want to be,” said Rose.

Rose reminded those present for the “Faces of Diversity” unveiling that “throughout our society, there are bullies of all ages and people everywhere who are getting bullied,” adding importance to being proactive in fighting the issue.

“Students, I’ll leave you with this – let’s make a difference,” Rose said. “Help us come together as a school and community and put bullying in the past.”

Brian

What follows is a speech made this morning by Brian Cockman at the Statesville High School – Faces of Diversity unveil. He can be reached at brian@roostercomm.biz.

Good morning everyone. My name is Brian Cockman and I am president of Rooster Communications, a PR agency based in Charlotte, and the co-creator of Faces of Diversity. When artist Edwin Gil and I set out to create an anti-bullying project that used art as way to communicate and celebrate differences, we wanted to show how treating someone with respect and dignity – regardless of what they wear, how they talk, where they live, or how they live their life – is at the core of what it means to be human.

Today, the students of Statesville High School become a part of an international anti-bullying project and join 7,000 others who have already placed their thumbprints on a Face of Diversity to say NO to bullying.

Students, by placing your thumbprint on the piece of artwork behind me, you have made a pledge to take a stand against bullying. You have made a pledge to be kind to your peers. You have made a pledge to intervene when you see someone being bullied. You have a made a pledge to live a life of dignity.

Your commitment to living a life a dignity and treating other with kindness may seem hard to define, so let me give you some wise words from one of my favorite authors and poets, and NC native, Maya Angelou. She says, quote:

Dignity—the word itself—has come to mean different things to different people, as many words do. It doesn’t just mean always being stiff and composed. It means a belief in oneself, that one is worthy of the best. Dignity means that what I have to say is important, and I will say it when it’s important for me to say it. Dignity really means that I deserve the best treatment I can receive. And that I have the responsibility to give the best treatment I can to other people. End quote.

So today, I challenge the students of Statesville High School, parents, teachers, and administrators to live a life full of dignity. You can influence how others feel by your words and actions. Never forget that.

I’d also like to end with a special thank you to Superintendent Johnson, Louise McLain, Principal Garriot Rose, freshman Jennifer McLain, and of course, all the students at Statesville High School for their support of Edwin and Faces of Diversity. You all should be very proud of your school community.

Faces of Diversity Logo

SEPTEMBER 10, 2013

 

Contact  

Brian Cockman

Faces of Diversity Co-Creator

877-210-3737, ext. 1

brian@roostercomm.biz

 

 

STATESVILLE HIGH & FACES OF DIVERSITY PARTNER AT ANTI-BULLYING SUMMIT

Ignite Summit To Develop Ways In Which Students Can Combat Bullying

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – (SEPTEMBER 10, 2013) – Faces of Diversity, an international art enterprise that breaks down stereotypes using art, today announced it will work with Statesville High School, 474 N Center St, Statesville, NC 28677, at the upcoming anti-bullying Ignite Summit on September 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. The summit, created by Statesville High freshman Jennifer McLain, will include keynote speeches from Faces of Diversity Co-Creator & Artist – Edwin Gil, WSOC Channel 9 Anchor – Natalie Pasquarella, Positive Direction for Youth and Families – Glenn Usry, Facing Forward – Charlene Pell, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg School – John Concelman. Time Out Youth and the Lighthouse Team from East Iredell Middle School will lead breakout sessions along with Student Assistance Program (SAP) Coordinators.

 

“Through the summit, we want to encourage students to be the spark that ignites a wildfire of change,” says student leader Jennifer McLain. “Our goal is to have meaningful conversations about the affects of bullying, which will positively impact the climate and cultures of our schools. Edwin Gil’s Faces of Diversity and the Ignite Summit will demonstrate how we can all work together to build each other up, respect our differences, and celebrate diversity.”

 

“We are proud to partner with Faces of Diversity and the group of student leaders who will undoubtedly have a positive influence on their peers,” says Iredell-Statesville Schools’ Superintendent Brady Johnson. “The contributions of our students, parents, teachers, administrators, and community at the Ignite Summit demonstrate that bullying will not be tolerated in our schools, but even more important, shows the power of teamwork in addressing one of the most important issues facing our young people today. Through its art component, Faces of Diversity brings stories of triumph, courage, and strength to life.”

 

“Faces of Diversity helps provide a voice to students who may not have an outlet to express their feelings,” says Faces of Diversity co-creator and artist, Edwin Gil. “Working with school districts like Iredell-Statesville, communities and student groups across the U.S. can see how art can be used as non-invasive ‘safe’ communications tool to address the issue of bullying head-on.”

 

Artist Edwin Gil will collect more than 1,000 Statesville High School student thumbprints to create the sixth Faces of Diversity from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. September 16,17, 18, and 19 at Statesville High School. Great Photo Op!

 

Most recently, the Faces of Diversity team led by Brian Cockman, president of Rooster Communications and project co-creator, visited Medellin, Colombia to work with pre-school children and their families. Other past participants include NC school districts: Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and Union County Public Schools.

 

For more information on Faces of Diversity, visit www.EdwinGil.com/facesofdiversity, find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/facesofdiversity or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/facesdiversity.

 

About Faces of Diversity: Faces of Diversity helps promote diversity and multicultural awareness through hands on art activities and thoughtful conversation. It reaffirms a sense of unity and connection among diverse groups by demonstrating how our differences should be respected and celebrated. Contemporary, conceptual artist, Edwin Gil, shares his personal story of triumph over tragedy, leads workshops, and creates a large 8’ X 8’ piece of artwork using participant thumbprints. The ‘face of diversity’ is gifted to each participating organization and serves as a reminder that our collective strength comes from our individual talents and unique personalities.

 

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It is our honor to report that Statesville High School will become the sixth Faces of Diversity initiative. Highlighting the anti-bullying work of Statesville High student, Jennifer McLain, the Faces of Diversity team will work with students in what Statesville-Iredell Schools is calling Faces of Diversity Month!

 

On September 19, Faces of Diversity co-creators Edwin Gil and Brian Cockman will work with students, administration, and staff to bring this latest “face” to life through workshops and art at the school’s Engage Summit. For more details, contact Edwin Gil.

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At four years old, Juan David may still be little. His dreams, however, are anything but. “I want to be a painter. I want to paint the whole world,” he declares, matter-of-factly. A lofty goal, no doubt. Just a quick look around his comuna (neighborhood) in Medellín, Colombia, however, paints a less-than-lofty reality.

For children in Colombia, and Latin America in general, poverty is the one constant, dream-crushing companion. According to a 2010 joint study conducted by UNICEF and CEPAL(in English, ECLAC — The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), nearly 81 million children in Latin America and the Caribbean live under moderate to severe deprivation factors such as malnutrition, lack of access to drinking water and sanitation services, lack of adequate schooling and lack of access to information and modern technology.

Edwin Gil, a Colombian artist residing in Charlotte, NC, is more than a tad familiar with this narrative. Like Juan David, Gil also nursed artistic ambitions as a child — ambitions that seemed to be doomed forever due to his family’s socioeconomic status and the country’s shaky political situation in the ’80s. “My childhood was filled with bitter moments: poverty, hunger and abuse, which clouded my hopes of ever having a better future,” recalls Gil.

Having personally lived through these conditions was a determining factor for Gil’s decision to bring his Faces of Diversity program to Medellín. In his native city, the Faces of Diversity project — whose first installment took place in Charlotte, NC in partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools — took on a new focus: socio-economic issues. After Gil and Faces of Diversity Director Brian Cockman took a tour of Buen Comienzo pre-schools this past May, both knew it was a perfect match. So for the next couple of months, they worked to engage private, civic and public U.S. and Latin American entities like ToolWell, AirTight, Clamasan and Sos Paisa to bring volunteer manpower, monetary, clothing and goods donations to help the government-funded program.

The project’s art centerpiece, depicting one of the children from the program, required over one thousand children’s fingerprints and is now part of one of the centers’ structural history — and the kids’ memories. “What better way to recognize these kids’ important imprint on the program than to have their actual fingerprints on this piece of art that will be here forever?” says Adriana María González Cuervo, Buen Comienzo’s Regional Director.

Final Story Collage

The Buen Comienzo program, developed by the Office of the Mayor of Medellín, Colombia, has 14 preschool centers and plans on adding many more across the region. It serves children and their families during their first five years of life, providing much needed early childhood education, family counsel and integral development for these children. Its longest-lasting contribution to their lives, though, is not the daily nourishment, the professional care or even the educational structure it provides, but rather the stable, loving shield from the often-hostile environment they witness in the communities from which they hail. “Our aim is for the kids who attend the center to get more than care. We want them to be happy,” says González Cuervo.

Which is how Gil and Cockman would define budding artist Juan David, one of the thousands of children the program benefits across the city. Seeing the impact of these type of programs first-hand has inspired Gil and Cockman’s to make Faces of Diversity a global project. “Our goal is to complete 111 “Faces” art pieces, and to engage ambassadors in major metropolitan areas and communities around the world over the next three years. The Faces of Diversity art pieces will serve as the platform to launch discussion around the topics of health and wellness, education and human rights,” says Cockman.

Their hope is that the program continues to be a “bridge” bringing together the arts, business, nonprofits, Latinos and Latino supporters with cultures — and hey, maybe even inspire future artists like Juan David — around the world. “I’m grateful to be able plant these art seeds everywhere, to help people across the world dream of and build a better life for themselves,” concludes Gil.

To contribute to the Buen Comienzo program in Medellín, visit their philanthropic arm, The Ximena Rico Llano Foundation.

Collage 1: 1080 children from the Buen Comienzo program added their fingerprints to the art piece.

Collage 2 (left to right): 1) Buen Comienzo participant and aspiring artist Juan David. 2) Mr. Gil and kids at work on the art piece. 3) Over 1000 fingerprints went into creating the final art piece for the project. 4) Buen Comienzo’s Regional Director Adriana María González Cuervo. 5) The final art piece. 6) Volunteers of the Faces of Diversity Medellín project and some Buen Comienzo program kids (left to right): Brian Cockman, Edwin Gil, Elianne Ramos, Charlene Valdez.

DISCLAIMER: Elianne Ramos is the Social/Cultural Advisor for Faces of Diversity.

 

Follow Elianne Ramos on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@ergeekgoddess

 

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A city marked by its innovation and solutions to urban problems. An integrated public transportation system complete with cable cars and a metro. A citywide bicycle program. An outdoor escalator that shuttles citizens from steep mountainside homes to jobs and schools in the valley below. A library system with ground-breaking educational programs for children and adults. Community centers built in poor neighborhoods to promote social capital. Government programs to help mothers provide for the emotional and physical needs of their children.

 

I’m not describing a fictional city or utopia. I’m talking about the City of eternal spring otherwise known as Medellin, Colombia. In recent years, the city has undergone a wonderful transformation and welcomes visitors from around the world with open arms. Named the Most Innovative City in the World by Citi and the Urban Land Institute in 2013 – beating out New York and Tel Aviv – Medellin’s rebirth pales in comparison to the one thing that keeps me coming back again and again – its people!

 

The people of Medellin, or Paisas as they are affectionately called, have welcomed me into their hearts and homes since my first visit back in 2009. Through my relationship with programs like SosPaisa – the external relations initiative created by the Office of the Mayor of Medellin – I’ve been introduced to Paisas from all walks of life, occupations, socioeconomic classes and backgrounds. The one commonality they all share, however, is their positive outlook on life. Perhaps this quality is what helped Colombia earn the title of Happiest Country in the World in a 2012 WIN/ Gallup International Association survey. In Medellin, I’ve seen firsthand how being content, working hard, and supporting your friends and family translates to a fulfilling life.

 

In fact, this month I’m traveling with a team of volunteers to participate in Medellin’s strong sense of community. Working alongside corporate sponsors from Charlotte, AirTight and Toolwell, my company Rooster Communications will help bring Edwin Gil’s Faces of Diversity program to the families and children of Buen Comienzo. Faces of Diversity is an interactive art program that breaks stereotypes through art and dialogue, while Buen Comienzo assists families and their children from birth to five years.

 

Edwin is a native of Medellin and is responsible for igniting my love of the city and its people. This past May we were fortunate to get a tour of several Buen Comienzo pre-schools where children’s imaginations and minds were being stimulated by a dedicated staff of teachers. What’s more, it was finally clear to me why Medellin has undergone such a transformation. Programs like Buen Comienzo are hard at work instilling love, respect, and knowledge in the children. In doing so, they are creating future leaders who will carry the torch of innovation to communities across the world.

 

This is the first of a three part series from Rooster Communications president, Brian Cockman, who serves as Faces of Diversity project team leader. He can be reached at brian@roostercomm.biz.