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Maryville College community unites to create mural for Austin-East community

Members of the Maryville College community say they want to show their love and support for the Austin-East community.
Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -On Saturday, students facility and alumni of Maryville College came together on campus at the Clayton Center, to help create a mobile mural for the Austin-East community.

The mural is a part of the college’s ‘KT Global Day of Service.’ It is made up of the words of a poem called “ The Hill We Climb” by Amanda Gorman.

Gorman recited the poem during President Biden’s inauguration.

Rebecca Lucas, a professor at Maryville College says the planning of the KT project happened in January, but the idea about using the poem came in April.

“It’s a gesture of support, and of love and a way for the Maryville College community to say to the Austin-East community we are thinking about you, we support you and we love you and we’re thinking about you,” shared Lucas.

Maryville College Alum, Lesean Brannon (class of 2011) came back to campus to work on the mural. Brannon says as a teacher at Springhill Elementary for eight years, three of the Austin-East teen shooting victims were former Springhill students.

Brannon shared 15-year-old Jamarion Gillette was a student in her class.

“I think about when he was 10, dancing and cutting up and just being a child,” says Brannon.

Once the mural is completed, it will be given to faculty at Austin-East Magnet High School. Faculty will be able to place the mural where ever they would like, and move it as needed.

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