On Saturday, April 28, teams in 33 state capitals will unpack thousands of handmade bones they've created with care from clay and plaster, and create public installations to raise awareness of atrocities happening today in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Burma and Somalia. This creative call to action is a collaboration between the One Million Bones project and Students Rebuild, which is challenging young people worldwide to make bones as symbols of solidarity for survivors of humanitarian crises.
These public exhibitions in capital cities across the country, on April 28, are part of the project's Road to Washington campaign, and will serve as a preview for the massive installation of one million handmade bones that will cover the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in spring, 2013. The installations are also in conjunction with a One Million Bones/Students Rebuild Day of Action happening worldwide. (April is National Genocide Awareness Month.) See how Students Rebuild's Congolese participants are taking action in this 1-minute video.
In addition to raising awareness, each handmade bone will generate a $1 donation through Students Rebuild for the international humanitarian organization CARE's relief and rebuilding work in Central Africa from the Bezos Family Foundation – up to $500,000.
In partnership with One Million Bones, the Students Rebuild challenge is art-inspired activism, and much more. More than 175 teams from 41 states and 11 countries have registered for the challenge, including almost 8,000 participants. Teams have had opportunities to connect directly with peers in Somalia and the DRC, on the ground relief staff, and other challenge participants through blogs, photo sharing, and live webcasts and videoconferences through Students Rebuild partner, Global Nomads Group. (View these recent highlights of U.S. high schoolers connecting directly with peers in the DRC.)
While older students have focused on studies of genocide past and present, younger students have made strong connections to racism, bullying and poverty. Installations have been held on school campuses, in city squares and at churches. One installation, in Tallahassee, was held at the city's historic "Hanging Tree."
"We promised to make 2,500 bones by April, 2012. Today, we've made over 6,000 bones to generate over $6,000 in donations to CARE in support of survivors of violence," says Jane McPherson, instructor and doctoral student at Florida State University and leader of One Million Bones Tallahassee. "What began within the university has grown to 44 events encompassing high schools, middle schools and elementary schools, a senior center and retirement home, an ice cream parlor, local arts center, a second-chance school, an at-risk teen program, an emergency hotline, an historic 'Lynching Tree' and a program for the disabled." Installations of thousands of bones, handmade and heartfelt, will offer startling visuals.
- Here's what a preview installation of 50,000 handmade bones looked like in Albuquerque.
- Here's what 51,230 bones looked like in Congo Square in New Orleans.
- A Detroit high school gym was transformed by 300 high school students in a preview installation of nearly 2,000 bones.
This Students Rebuild challenge is a collaboration between One Million Bones, the Bezos Family Foundation, CARE and Global Nomads Group.
More Information: Students Rebuild challenge: www.studentsrebuild.org
One Million Bones project: www.onemillionbones.org
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