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"Justice Mandala"

Groundswell Community Mural Project ©, www.groundswellmural.org


Summer Leadership Institute, 2011

Location: 275 Atlantic Avenue (Downtown Brooklyn) - State Street side

Lead Artist: Chris Soria

Assistant Artist: Misha Tyutyunik

Youth Artists: Akeem Bedward, Jelissa Caldwell, John Cepeda, Alexandra Cibelli, David Hunter, Mei Kazama, Annie Lee, Elizabeth Maroney, Alexis Meza, Raymond Reyes, Elijah Rodriguez, Tyrone Thomas, Thomas Torchio, Isaac Treadwell

Community Partners: NYC Deparmtnet of Correction, NU Hotel

Medium: Acrylic

Dimensions: 90 x 18 ft



“Justice Mandala” explores restorative justice: the act of seeking solutions that repair, reconcile, and rebuild relationships. Through a unique partnership among the New York City Department of Correction, NU Hotel Brooklyn, and the Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID and Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a team of young artists, including some formerly-incarcerated youth, transformed the State Street side of the Brooklyn Detention Complex. Empowered to add their voices to the public dialogue, these young people spent seven weeks connecting their personal experiences to the larger conversation about restorative justice.

Throughout the summer, these young people explored the concept of the Buddhist mandala, contemplating what it means to live restoratively.  The result is three vibrant and contemporary mandalas lining the back wall of the Brooklyn Detention Complex, which consider the city as a diverse and ever-expanding community where all inhabitants share a commonality.  Interspersed between the large circles are floating keys, which represent the ability to open doors and unlock new opportunities. 

This project is made possible through the generous support of NU Hotel Brooklyn, Court-Livingston-Schermerhorn BID, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “Justice Mandala” is endorsed by the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President and Councilman Stephen Levin. Major financial support for Groundswell's 2011 Summer Leadership Institute (SLI) is also contributed by Brooklyn Community Foundation, Catalog for Giving, Charles Lawrence Keith and Clara Miller Foundation, David Rockefeller Fund, Edelman Community Investment, Eileen Fisher, Ethel and W. George Kennedy Family Foundation, Lambent Foundation, Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, and Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation, in addition to numerous individuals.