"Forgiveness" Mural Wrap up and Press / by EricOkdeh

There is a lot to report today! This week I am hard at work wrapping up my "Forgiveness" Mural; a 7 month long project in which close to 100 children, inmates, and adults contributed. The mural is inspired by the story of Janice Johnson-Burke and her son Kevin Johnson. 4 years ago Kevin was shot over an Allen Iverson jersey he was wearing, the senseless crime left him paralyzed. Since then Kevin and his mother publicly forgave their attackers, and in doing so they were able to find a sense of healing and closure. Sadly Kevin passed away late last year, and this mural serves as both a memorial, and a tribute to Kevin and Janice's compassion and forgiveness. 

The Mural will be dedicated on: 
Tuesday October 16th 5pm at the corner of 13th St. and Erie Ave. in North Philadelphia 

In the past few weeks I have been interviewed quite a bit concerning both this project and my involvement in Graterford Prison for the Arts in Criminal Justice National Conference 

Weekend America did a segment on the Forgiveness project this past weekend The audio can be found here. My images even made their main page banner.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's article on the Conference can be found here

Tomorrow I will be interviewed two more times for the Mural. I'm glad to see so much exposure on this particular project. I'm always proud to talk about working with the Graterford Men. I wish everyone were able meet these guys and witness the in house workshops and community outreach first hand. It would shatter every notion you have of what goes on in a prison, and the people behind its walls. 

I'll post the links to the interviews as soon as I find them online.