Many of the readers of this blog have followed the evolution of the #NoMoreEmptyDesks project that is currently underway in a Camden, New Jersey high school. The voices of the students, especially in this time, must be amplified. #NoMoreEmptyDesks was conceived as an idea, a thought, a collaborative plan.
I reached out to a talented and devoted art teacher, Lisa Wallenburg, who I have worked with in my Camden City School District. Lisa is currently in her 33rd year of teaching art in Camden, and her passion and commitment to the students, the city, the community are unparalleled. Lisa immediately responded with a resounding YES!
The #NoMoreEmptyDesks initiative has received an arts grant that will culminate in a student-led curated art exhibit at the Stedman Art Gallery on the campus of Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey in the spring of 2021. This will be the celebration of a 3 year journey to amplify the voice of students who have experienced community gun violence.
I recently visited the group of high school juniors to share my family’s story and give context to how this project conceived. I am impressed with the enthusiasm and engagement by this talented group of high schoolers. Here are some pictures from my visit!
Here are the original blog posts: