Sacha Kelly, a mathematics teacher and artist who helped create Black Lives Matter murals in Hartford and Bloomfield, is still spreading the word. She is one of the artists who converged on Windsor recently to paint a colorful mural that spells out “End Racism Now.”
Ms. Kelly, whom we honored in 2009, teaches at the Academy of Science and Innovation, a magnet high school in New Britain run by the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC).
The mural is on the pavement between the public library and the Eagle Green. Each of the 12 letters conveys a message of its own. Ms. Kelly, the lead artist of the project, painted the letter ‘I.’
“It has different hues of skin colors just to symbolize all the different tones and complexions of the human race, and it says ‘I am a human’,” she told Fox61 in an on-camera interview. Her letter features a geometric design showing the spectrum of skin colors, from chocolate brown to creamy white.
TV News Report
Thanks to the Hartford Courant and Fox61 for covering this story. Click here to view the Fox61 report, which features Sacha and Khaiim Kelly.
Levey Kardulis of Hartford, the project manager, said the mural was intended to emphasize unity. “I did not want chains and handcuffs,” he told the Courant. “I want to bring people together, not create lines of separation. This isn’t done for protest. It’s about community, about bridging the gap.”
Acts of Kindness
Khaiim Kelly, Sacha’s husband, the rapper known as Self Suffice, was also involved in the project. He pointed out that the project has inspired acts of kindness from passers-by, including a woman who was concerned about the artists’ comfort.
“She said ‘no, no no,’ and she walked across the street and got some knee pillows for the artists to lean on Mr. Kelly said. “Another couple came by and said, ‘How can we help?’ You know they started sweeping leaves out of the way.”
Participants from Three Schools
The project already is bringing people together, including students from three of the town’s schools, Windsor High School, Loomis-Chaffee High School and Medina Academy, a Muslim private school.
Said Kardulis, “These are three schools here in the town of Windsor that haven’t worked together before, and they were all working on social justice programs in school, but you know I brought them together to work on this one project.”
Tony Le, of East Hartford, painted the letter ‘S,’ which was centered around voting.
“It’s your right to vote,” he said. “You’ve earned it. They can’t stop you. It’s your vote, your voice. We have to promote that unification of many lives, of many cultures, because this is America.”
An Ongoing Mission
The artists hope that even though the painting is complete, their mission will continue.
Said Sacha Kelly, “I think that is the answer to ending racism. The more we work together, the more we realize that we have more in common than different.”
Desiree Primus of the Windsor Human Relations Commission said the mural reflects the town’s proactive social-justice stance. The town council declared racism a public health crisis in June, and the commission has sponsored a Zoom series on racial justice and community policing, a book club, food drives and a vigil on the green.