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Faces of Hope

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 4, 2016) — Naomi McPeters believes that fear and silence are at the root of oppression and injustice. Her photo essay project aims to break that silence, to give voice to people who may have felt fearful because of who they are, at their core.

McPeters interviewed more than 30 UAlbany students, and their striking portraits are paired with their own words, describing who they are, their fears and their hopes. Selections from the project, #SilenceNoMore: Celebrating Our Diversity Through Stories and Photographs, will be on display at the Advisement Services Center later this month and through May.

The goal of the project, McPeters says, is “to increase empathy, compassion and understanding while eliminating false perceptions and stereotypes.”

An opening reception for the exhibit will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, in Assembly Hall at the Campus Center, where 11 of the works will be hanging.

“I started the project as more of a social media campaign aimed at breaking the silence around social justice-focused issues which students have been afraid or unwilling to discuss,” McPeters said. “I used student-approved photos and stories to help the student body ‘see’ others as human beings with hopes, fears, pasts and futures.”

The social media portion of McPeters’ continuing project is on Instagram at UAlbany_SilenceNoMore.

McPeters, a senior, is an English major in the Honors Program, with minors in education and documentary studies. She’s a peer counselor for Middle Earth, the Humanities senator on the Student Association, a member of the Honors College and a community assistant in the World of Community Service Living-Learning Community.

#SilenceNoMore won a 2016 Diversity Transformation Fund Award from the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and a grant from Initiatives for Women. The project is sponsored by the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program and the Advisement Services Center.

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