Around this time last year, Peace Learning Center’s Youth Development Facilitator, Melita Carter, embarked on a dream to help reinvigorate the East Side through a service project that would bring youth, public servants, and the community as a whole together. This project, aptly named Koinonia, meaning to propel the community forward, has been accomplished so much in the past year. She hoped that it would create a sense of ownership for her community to compel them to care for their neighbors and the world we live in. Phase 1 of the Koinonia Project involved a three-day clean-up of the East Side. Volunteers collected over 500 bags of trash in their quest to clean up the streets!

Phase 2 of Koinonia is now underway and involves having local artists paint six traffic boxes across the East Side. The first of these traffic boxes has now been completed. The box is located on the corner of 38th and Mitthoeffer in front of John Marshall High School, one of Peace Learning Center’s partner schools. The first box artwork was designed and done by N. Beth Line.

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“This box will provoke through conversations, joy, love, peace, community building,” Melita Carter.

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The artist, N. Beth Line, said she’s received nothing but good feedback and people yelling from their cars “good job!” “that’s beautiful!” and “thank you!”

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“My thoughts at the beginning of this project were that I am tired of waiting and pleading with people to do something for my community. I was thinking someone needs me to do this. So I did it!,” said Melita Carter, “I know someone is counting on me to do, by any means necessary, even if its uncomfortable, frightening or painful.”