Personal Truths

Youth Utilizing Artmaking to Promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Edited by:
Christa Boske, Kent State University

A volume in the series: Promoting Justice, Diversity, and Inclusivity Through Arts-Based Practices. Editor(s): Christa Boske, Kent State University.

In Press 2024

Youth titled this book Personal Truths because they shared personal journeys; their development; how others may perceive them; and finally, who they are at the core. Artists encourage us to recognize personal truths may differ from what society values. They came to understand how people are culturally conditioned to underestimate, marginalize, and undervalue some communities. Intuitively, authors increased their consciousness and celebrated what it means to live their truth. They discovered what matters most to them and expressed how they feel when navigating justice-oriented issues. Putting their truths into words was difficult. Artists' lives, insights, and experiences were shaped by the way in which they live their truths. They encourage us to utilize their artmaking and first-tellings to make decisions based on love for self and others. Youth call each of us to live according to what we value. They ask us to look within and reflect how lived experiences shape who we become. Artists recognize their source of power comes from within and deepens not only one's sense of self, but to recognize internalizing self-worth begins from within. Through their artmaking, authors honor their intuition, insights, thoughts, and feelings around a myriad of issues. Their concerns range from the need for culturally responsive teachers/leaders to ending police brutality to the need for children to be loved as their authentic selves.

Their artmaking provides spaces to deepen their understanding of personal truths influencing decision making, values, beliefs, and actions. These artists conclude the need to live their truths. This powerful and moving artmaking taps into what youth deem significant to individual growth. They emphasize to be true to oneself involves deepening consciousness of personal values, beliefs, responses, and motives. As these artists deepen their ways of knowing, they discover how often society influences their sense of self. They realize how often society seems insensitive to the issues they deem pertinent to individual growth. For these artists, it is the first time they were provided space to explore how schools, communities, media, and society influence how they make sense of the world. They conclude artmaking has the capacity to restore and strengthen personal awareness, growth, and cultural consciousness.

CHAPTER 1: Constructing Meaning, Christa Boske. CHAPTER 2: Peace, Ichgok. CHAPTER 3: Rainbow, Nerds. CHAPTER 4: Life’s Journey, Ichgo. CHAPTER 5: Spirit, TJ. CHAPTER 6: Hiraeth, Q. CHAPTER 7: Family Love, J. CHAPTER 8: Darkness Falling, Kano. CHAPTER 9: All Equal, Nitro. CHAPTER 10: Alexithymia, T1. CHAPTER 11: Spirituality, DL. CHAPTER 12: Trauma, T2. CHAPTER 13: Black Lives Matter Should Matter to Everyone, Moneyback King. CHAPTER 14: Conscious-Based Artmaking, Christa Boske. About the Author.