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The American Dream: From the Light to the Darkness exhibit

Community children express their fears and concerns on immigration through art

Changes in law enforcement directives regarding immigration have heightened concern in many communities. Many children have fear and anxiety about being detained or their parents and loved ones being detained or deported. 

Community members saw the negative impact this has on their children's health and took action. A pediatrician helped children use drawings or words to express to express their perception of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its impact on their lives. 

The resulting art was shared for the first time at a City-facilitated community immigration forum where residents and representatives from local organizations, City staff and the Bloomington School District were present. Bloomington’s Public Health staff also requested the Human Rights Commission include the children's work in its 2018 work plan which went on to receive City Council support and approval. Community members named the exhibit, developed the narrative and selected the artwork to display. 

The HRC hopes to share and build on this exhibit in the future.

Commitment statement from community members

We are committed to a successful project that will:

  • Create a safe and respectful environment that fosters acceptance. 
  • Dispel misconceptions of immigrants. 
  • Spark empathy and connections to our common humanity. 

City Council and School Board statement

This exhibit aligns with the City Council and School Board’s joint statement on immigration which encourage the community to: 

  • Participate in ongoing community conversations on immigration and equity; 
  • Work together to achieve human rights and dignity for all; and 
  • Learn more about your neighbors from all cultures. 

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