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Home > Special Intiatives > Children's Memorial Flag > Protecting America's Children: A National Message Mural

 
 

Protecting America's Children: A National Message Mural


Artist Xavier Cortada unveils a national message mural on April 22, 2005
(Photo courtesy of Staash Press.)
  Cuban-American artist and activist Xavier Cortada unveiled an original mural to support the CWLA National Children's Memorial Flag initiative on April 22, 2005, at the Washington, D.C.-based IDEA Public Charter School. The mural includes poems and messages written by IDEA students, CWLA members and staff, and concerned citizens about the issues of child abuse and violence prevention. The mural will serve as a powerful and visible reminder of how the IDEA students overcame their struggles and fears, and through artistic expression and civic engagement created a masterpiece for their fellow and future students to enjoy for years to come.

Several local officials, including Washington, D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Chief, Adrian Thompson; Executive Director of Charter Schools for the District of Columbia Board of Education, Dr. Brenda Belton; and Captain Deirdre Porter from the Office of the Chief of Police, participated in the Children's Memorial Flag Day ceremony and contributed their voices to the National Message Mural.

"Children are indeed our most precious resource…" says Mr. Cortada. " Sadly, at times, many of them are forgotten and ignored. Worse, some of them are victims of abuse and violence. During Child Abuse Prevention Month, CWLA invites all of us to reflect on what we do personally and societally to ensure that our children have a brighter future. Through the Children's Memorial Flag Campaign, CWLA encourages us to become more involved and more responsible."

CWLA initiated a partnership with the IDEA School after a fire was deliberately set at the school during the early morning hours of December 7, 2004. The fire caused substantial damage to the building. To help the community heal, CWLA introduced an innovative poetry curriculum to the 11th and 12th grade Humanities students. Through the poetry writing exercises, students have been able to express their feelings about the fire and its aftermath, as well as the realities of growing up in an urban setting beset by violence and crime.


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