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Edwin Hernandez - Nations Ford Elementary - Faces of Diversity
December 19, 2013
Media Contact
Brian Cockman
877-210-3737, ext. 1
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.