Cultural Advocacy Art Mural Unveiled

The School of Social Work is proud to share the first installment of our new art series

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 located at 1010 W. Nevada St. Urbana, IL. The project committee is now seeking additional submissions for the series.

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

Due to the restrictions of COVID-19, we know that it is a challenge to meet for an in-person unveiling and group discussions. Keenan has graciously produced a video that discusses the inspiration for his art, as the initial project in this important series. View the video below.