Art for Equity project promotes diversity in school libraries

BAILEY SAPUTO, Staff Writer, Editor

Beginning this school year, senior Mila Barry has organized a project to help build more equitable educational spaces through Gloucester’s school libraries. Called Art for Equity, it’s a creative student collaborative, where GHS kids make art and raise money to buy books that highlight the narratives of oppressed voices.

This project has many layers to it, but the goal is to bring more attention to the Black Lives Matter cause in schools.

Barry and her talented group will be painting a hanging cloth mural for GHS. “We’re working on a mural on sail cloth, which will hopefully be displayed at the high school. Our design is almost done and we’re going to start painting next weekend,” said Barry. 

This mural will be printed onto shirts, among other merchandise, to gain funds for purchasing books written by Black authors. These will be placed in Gloucester’s school libraries to diversify library offerings and give students an opportunity to read these works. 

“Literature can provide transformative experiences and helps expose young people to new ideas and perspectives,” said Barry, “It can also help validate students’ own experiences and identities. Shifting the paradigm about what authors you expect to see in a school setting is valuable, especially when you’re expanding to include voices you don’t usually hear from.”

There are simple ways that you can show support for this project and its goals. Said Barry: “Our shop is launching in mid to late November; buy a shirt when we launch our shop and spread the word!” 

Donations will also be accepted and appreciated to help this project succeed. To stay in the know, follow the account @art.for.equity on Instagram and Facebook. Also, check out the website for information on how you can donate. 

Art for Equity is funded in part by The Gloucester Education Foundation and Awesome Gloucester.