About the Project
The Covid-19 pandemic called on each of us to invest in society’s collective health and well-being. The simultaneous racial justice uprisings pushed all Americans to examine the inequities built into our country and have expanded and reignited the struggle for a just society. Chip Thomas, aka “Jetsonorama,” and Ursula Rucker brought high school students on a journey through the past to look at previous pandemics and civil rights struggles, to fuse the ideas of health and wellness with justice and equity. Together with students, they created a zine that includes artwork and poetry that focuses on public health awareness and dreams for a better future. The publication was given to community members at no cost and published online. Both Jetsonorama and Ursula Rucker have used their practices for social justice, healing, and transformation. Through the power of poetry, positivity, and imagery generated by Mural Arts Philadelphia Art Education students, Jetsonorama created a portrait mural of Rucker in her home neighborhood of Germantown.
Building on Germantown’s rich cultural legacy as a home for artists and writers, We Still Here! highlights poetry from local youth and community members. Emanating from a megaphone, Rucker’s call that “We Still Here! ” amplifies the community voices that have long championed Germantown as one of Philadelphia’s gems. Her poem celebrates the diversity and brilliance of this historic community.
On August 6, 2021, the mural dedication featured poetry, music, and food from the neighborhood and welcomes the public to celebrate together, including performances by Ursula Rucker and her son, Sudan Green, and Miles Orion Butler.
Friends of Maplewood Mall
City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services
Forrest & Frances Lattner Foundation
The Estate of Pearl M. Carpel