Sunday, January 14 & Monday, January 15 • Spellman Hall
Westminster Presbyterian Church
10 W. Pleasant Grove Rd., West Chester, PA 19382
In the aftermath of the deeply unsettling events surrounding the murder of George Floyd, an apolitical and diverse group of Chester County residents, the Racial and Cultural Equity (R.A.C.E.) group, convened to talk about whether this could happen in our community. R.A.C.E. Group PA stands as a beacon of hope in Chester County. Their mission is: to foster mutual respect, understanding, and dialogue, addressing the systemic challenges of racism and championing inclusivity.
A salient point of discussion emerged on the portrayal of black and brown men in the media – a portrayal marred by negative stereotypes and misconceptions. Amidst these discussions, Christine Martey Ochola envisioned a project that would champion the cause of positive representation. Recognizing the potential of this vision, photographer- Sandrien de Bruijn-Mesman joined forces to breathe life into what would soon be known as “The 20 Men Project”.
The meticulous process of photographing and interviewing the men spanned nearly nine months. As of April 2023, a total of 30 men have been featured, their stories echoing the rich tapestry of experiences within Chester County. With the launch of the “20 Men” initiative, R.A.C.E. group PA invites the community to immerse themselves in the stories of remarkable black and brown males who, despite their contributions, have remained in the shadows.
The portraits, grandiose in size at 30”x40”, are powerful visuals that serve as poignant narratives, challenging preconceived notions and fostering deeper community connections. The “20 Men Project” seeks to reintroduce black men and boys as pillars of the community, dispelling myths and fostering understanding. The power of imagery in shaping societal perceptions cannot be understated. The 20 Men Project aims reshape narratives and champion a more inclusive society.
The display is open to the community to view as follows:
Sunday, 1/14, 9:00 am – 2:00pm
From 10:45 am – Noon, Sandrien de Bruijn-Mesman, will speak in Spellman Hall about the vision, the history and the impact of this initiative.
Monday, 1/15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), 9:00 am – Noon
For more information contact Rev. Jennifer Byler Clark email@example.com