Labib Rouhana, associate professor of biological sciences at Wright State University, wanted to acknowledge the suffering that African American students and co-workers have been living with and to inform the campus community that “we’re not looking away.”
Rouhana decided he was going to get his message out by painting the Wright State Rock, which promotes school spirit and pride, a particular cause or an event on campus.
After painting over old artwork with black paint, Rouhana invited Arthur Miller, a 2018 alumnus, to help with the messaging. Miller happened to be driving by with his 5-year-old son, Enzo, showing him where he went to college and asked if they could help.
After three hours of work on May 31, they painted the word “UNITY” between an American flag and a broken heart. “He actually came up with the message,” said Rouhana of Miller’s artwork.
“This is not about separation, it’s about unity. It is about seeing the content of ones character rather than their skin color,” said Miller.
Rock etiquette dictates that the artwork must remain on the rock for at least 24 hours. Miller hopes that his message will greet students when they return to campus.