UMass CESL promotes learning for life-long, engaged citizenship, partnering with communities on and off campus to work collectively for a more just society.

Building Bridges

The phrase “build bridges, not walls” has become a popular response to the rhetoric of fear and exclusion that has been dominating our headlines. Our public art and engagement project, “Building Bridges,” aims to focus on the very real and positive possibilities when people come together across: race, religion, class, immigration status, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, nationality, and more. 


“Building Bridges” draws on the power of solidarity and creative expression to bring people together and create a bridge across difference. 


Please join us in celebrating the bridges that we are already building and in assembling the bridges yet to come. The “Building Bridges” project will emerge over the Fall 2017 semester and will remain a theme throughout the 2017 – 2018 academic year at UMass Amherst. The first component of this project is the installation of two banners in the Fine Arts Center Plaza. We hope that these visual/artistic prompts—the spelling out of the project’s name formed with many of the languages spoken on campus—will be a catalytic public art project that launches our efforts.


Join Us: We invite everyone from the campus to participate in ways you find meaningful. Please let us know if you are holding an event, exhibit, lecture and/or dialogue that aligns with our efforts, or if you would like to create one to support the aims of this project. Our goal is to connect this theme with ongoing programming and to serve as an informational hub for related events on campus.


UMass Programs and Departments currently involved: Civic Engagement and Service-Learning (CESL) / College of Education / Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success (CMASS) / The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) / Department of Communication / American Institute of Architects Student Group, UMass Amherst


For more information or to become involved, please email: Jacob Carter ( or Joseph Krupczynski (