We the People

Maria Tarry

As an English As A Second Language teacher I have had the privilege of getting to know many different families from all over the world that have chosen to make the United States their home for a variety of reasons. We are a nation of immigrants, and I believe this diversity is one of our greatest strengths.

We the people, the opening words to The Constitution, are symbolic of the power of our collective voice as Americans. By presenting these famous words in some of the many beautiful languages that make us collectively "the people", I hope to honor and acknowledge a portion of the voices that make up the American experience.

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Empathy for Bipartisanship

In anticipation of the 2020 Presidential Debate held on Belmont University's campus, creators from across the United States of America crafted their own Unity Flag in order to promote empathy for bipartisanship.

The overarching idea of the Unity Flag Project is to build “purple empathy” through the visual arts...

The formation of purple is an optical blending of blue and red coming together to engage in civil bipartisan discourse through the visual arts.

The Flag Artwork

Purple empathy is the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another’s political views, political experiences, political opinions, political understandings, political intentions, and political decisions.

nelson, M.B. 2017
Iowa
Ainsley Harlan, Alexandra Harlan, and Macy Ferguson
California
Alexandra Muddle
Minnesota
Alison Miller and Nancee Wright
Texas
Dr. Amanda Alexander
Oregon
Amy and Jeff Petit
New York
Angela Soto
South Carolina
Anna Bullock
Indiana
Bailey & Cassie Sipes
Washington
Collins Meldahl
Virgina
Robert Nusbaum Center
Maryland
The Boyce Family & Genie Arnot
Tennessee
Hazel Anne B N, Maribelle B N, and Dr. Meaghan Brady Nelson
Illinois
Holly Grosshans
Rhode Island
Iko Souza and Dr. Shana Cinquemani
Utah
Izzy Healey
Tennesse
Jackie Tingle
New Mexico
Dr. Justin Makemson
Maryland
Dr. Kate Collins, LaVerne Miers-Bond, and Ana MarĂ­a Economou
Louisiana
Kimberly Dummons
Tennessee
Lane Carnell
Illinois
Dr. Laura Hetrick
Georgia
Lauren Dingmann
Maryland
- -
New Jersey
Liz Tenny
Michigan
Mara Tillman
Alabama
Maria Tarry
Tennessee
Dr. Meaghan Brady Nelson
Ohio
Dr. Mindi Rhoades
Montana
Montana Collaborative Project
Massachusetts
Dr. Patty Bode
Pennsylvania
Robert Sweeny, Stella Sweeny, Luca Sweeny, and Dr. Marissa Sweeny
Arizona
Rose Hamel and Dr. Cala Coats
Connecticut
Dr. Ross H. Schlemmer
Florida
Dr. Sara Scott Shields
Wyoming
Tanya Wall and Jordan Sauer
New York
Tara Woods
Nebraska
Dr. Timothy B. Garth
Kentucky
University Heights Academy, Faye Hendricks, Lily Hendricks, Clarissa Miller, Beth Peebles, Evelyn Cotthoff, Julia Thomas, and Susy Comperry
North Carolina
Dr. Vicky Grube
Alaska
Vonnie Gaither

About the Project

By providing a safe space for bipartisan discourse, the red and blue students gained purple empathy by sharing, listening, and hearing one another. In order to fully validate these experiences, other educators and I must continue to reflexively attempt such processes in order to create spaces for purple empathy to grow stronger and become far reaching.

nelson, M.B. 2017

We contacted creators from all over the United States...

I am working a national project called Unity Flags, and my hope is you will represent your state.

The Unity Flags are in anticipation for the final presidential debate Belmont is 'hosting' in the Fall. I would send you a care package with all the materials (canvas, paint & brushes) to create an American flag... in your own way, and you are welcome to use other colors and/or materials. You could do it with other artists, family, friends, students or alone (however you are COVID19 comfortable). You could get creative with the design or paint it to look exactly like old glory. It can also have a 'state' spin on it, but that is not required. I've attached example pics for inspiration.

Here are some example Unity Flags for inspiration. Thank you for joining this project.

Please contact me with any questions.

Meaghan Brady Nelson, PhD
Assistant Professor, Program Director of Fine Arts
Watkins College of Art | Belmont University | Nashville TN
Meaghan.Nelson@belmont.edu

Example Unity Flags for Inspiration

Love Thy Neighbor
By Meaghan Brady Nelson | 2019
Acrylic on Gallery Wrap | 3ft x 5ft
Purple Empathy
By Meaghan Brady Nelson | 2019
Acrylic on Gallery Wrap | 3ft x 5ft
Happy Valentines Love
By Meaghan Brady Nelson | 2017
Quantity 200, 5 x 7 inch linograph prints
Katie Mitchell, Director of Galleries, installing the work