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West Hartford Jewish Community Mural Brings Awareness to Disability Inclusion and Acceptance

It takes a village to send the message out about inclusion. Courtesy photo

The Friendship Circle of Greater Hartford created a mural in Bishops Corner in honor of Jewish Disability Awareness Month.

The canvas has been placed at the intersection of Trout Brook Drive and Albany Avenue. Courtesy photo

Submitted

On Sunday, Feb. 27, in honor of Jewish Disability Awareness Inclusion Month, the Friendship Circle of Greater Hartford brought community members together to create the first Jewish Community Inclusion Mural.

Children and their parents, teenagers, older adults, people with and without disabilities, added their spray paint to the large white canvas. Participants spray-painted at the outdoor patio of Starbucks in Bishop Corner – unphased by the winter temperatures – eager to choose their color and contribute to the beautiful, colorful art composition.

Finding ways everyone can add their color to the canvas. Courtesy photo

The community mural stood as a concrete example of the wonderful result that can be achieved when people of all abilities work together in an inclusive environment. Community members were invited to pick up educational handouts, purchase children’s books on inclusion, and make their voices heard by writing notes on the “One Thing I Wish You Knew About Me” message board.

Participants learned how to be inclusive though educational handouts. Courtesy photo

A time lapse video, and more about the mural and theme can be viewed here: www.justASK.care

When passing by the Trout Brook Drive and Albany Avenue intersection in West Hartford, look at the 8-foot-by-16-foot mural depicting a girl pointing to the words: “Behold how good and how pleasant it is when we all dwell together.”

The theme of the art piece is #justASK. It is a message that communicates that when a community asks and listens and all its members feel heard and respected, it creates an environment of understanding and acceptance.

This community mural event afforded a fun opportunity for all people to interact, learn from each other, and recognize each person’s contribution to our community. It is hoped that the goal of shifting stereotypical thinking, removing barriers and facilitating participation of all was strengthened through the art process and the experience of creating an impressive art piece together as one community.

About Friendship Circle

Based on the bedrock foundation of Judaism, “To love your fellow as you love yourself,” Friendship Circle brings together toddlers and young adults with and without special needs for a variety of Judaic and social programming.

Together, they enjoy mutually rewarding experiences such as weekly get-togethers, Jewish education and holiday celebrations and creative cooking and fitness programs.

Inspired by the magic of genuine friendship, our members cultivate understanding, kindness and responsibility, developing a more inclusive Jewish community for all.

Learn more about Friendship Circle here: www.FriendshipCircleCT.com.

You are never too young or old to advocate for an inclusive community. Courtesy photo

The West Hartford community works together to send a powerful message of inclusion. Courtesy photo

Friends with and without disabilities add their color to the mural. Courtesy photo

Friends take a break to pose. Courtesy photo

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