Inspired by the nationwide unrest concerning systemic racism and violence in America, dozens of youth receiving residential treatment services on Hillside’s Monroe Campus in Rochester came together to create a Black Lives Matter art exhibit that was presented to youth and staff on June 11. Nearly three dozen hand-drawn and mixed-media pieces were created for the event.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for our youth to share their voices,” said Damaris Attanasio, a Hillside clinician who was one of several staff members to help organize the effort.

Youth from the Monroe Campus toured the temporary exhibit based on a carefully arranged schedule, in order to maintain social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The young people participated in open discussions with staff members about the messages of the varied pieces.

“The pain of racial inequality and discrimination are problems that affect everyone in our society,” said Maria Cristalli, President & CEO of Hillside. “It’s inspiring to see such passion and insight from the youth we serve.”

An artwork from the Black Lives Matter art exhibit created by Hillside youth.

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