What does freedom mean? UK students answer with campus art project

Students write what they think freedom means at the Freedom Is… event hosted by the Bias Incident Report Service outside Whitehall on Thursday, April 5, 2018. Photo by Cody Ryan.

Cody Ryan

Members of the UK community expressed their idea of the meaning of freedom Thursday next to Whitehall.

As a part of Bias Incident Support Services’ first annual Facing Change Week, UK students and faculty wrote what freedom meant to them on quilt squares next to Whitehall plaza.

“I think it will make some changes if everybody sees how many people contributed,” said UK student Gunner Walker after writing “Freedom is USA” on a quilt square.

Bias Incident Support Services set up a table to gather ideas of what freedom means to everyone in hopes of getting people to think critically about social justice. They were celebrating the theme of “imagining our world” during Facing Change Week. The event was titled “Freedom Is…” allowing students to fill in the blank.

Tee Acree, a graduate assistant for Bias Incident Support services, was working at the table of “Freedom Is…” and asking members of the UK community if they could take a moment to write what they thought freedom was to them.

Acree said the quilt squares would be put together to form a big quilt showing that “freedom is an individual experience, but this is what it looks like when a community feels free.”

“I think anything that draws attention to change can bring about change,” student Connor Toles said. “Every step toward your goal is a step in the right direction – no matter how big or small.”

The patches will fit together to construct a freedom quilt and will be displayed somewhere on campus, although that location isn’t known yet.

“It will be wonderful to see it all put together,” said Tina Bryant, a psychologist at the Counseling Center.

“Freedom is …” is one of many community engagement events that Bias Incident Support Services is hosting this week.

“It’s always good to see just like positive stuff,” UK student Anna Villarreal said.