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Elevating Voices: Visualizing Social Justice Through Art

The School of Social Work is seeking local artists to complete the installments of our social justice art series, displayed at the School of Social Work. This opportunity is open to all and includes all art mediums.

Open Call for Artists


A series of art that recognizes the need for and facilitates discussions around the complexities of racial and social justice while elevating and empowering the voices of underrepresented populations and groups.

The School of Social Work has finalized the open art call to complete the installments of the series. The final pieces will be shared during the Fall semester of 2021.

The series is made possible through funding from the John N. Chester Estate Endowment Fund.

Installment #1: Year 401

Keenan Dailey, an MFA student at Illinois who focuses on afrofuturist art, was selected from a number of applicants to display his mural, titled “Year 401” in the entryway of the School of Social Work. (Shown above)

About Keenan:

“I’m an afrofuturist artist and designer that hails from the south side of Peoria IL. I was raised by a single mother who worked as a children’s probation officer, court-appointed special advocate, case worker and DCFS investigator. While during her professional life she would serve as an advocate for children in her private life she raised me through cancer, debt, eviction, and the loss of my grandparents who acted as surrogate parental figures in the place of my own father, all while prioritizing my happiness and protecting my innocence. When I think of social work my most immediate example is my mother and her service as the embodiment of resilience and empathy.

During times of immense adversity it is our responsibility as human beings to be empathetically responsive to voices that cry out in pain as they are representative of parts of our own self, It is our responsibility to be resilient against forces that would maintain the status quo, and It is our responsibility to dismantle every system, every institution born and rooted in the oppression of disenfranchised and marginalized peoples.” -Keenan Dailey

Installments #2-3:

Two additional works by Langston Alliston and Kang Sun are currently under development.

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