Making the Mosaic

by Priya Das

America is the land of the free and the home of the brave…the who? While many of us feel we have the right to be here, regardless of where we were born, most of us continue to seek a sense of belonging. Belonging to a home, to a community, to a country.

We identify as American. The world sees us as American. So why are some of us challenged, or even threatened, by our very own neighbors: our fellow Americans. If we all have pledged our allegiance to America – our America – then why do some people consider themselves more American than others?

Our Mosaic initiative was created as a direct response to the divisive language that has manifested nationally over the past few years, further deepening the exclusion felt by vulnerable groups – such as those whose Americanness is questioned on a daily basis. We firmly believe that at the root of this problem is a lack of understanding, as well as a silent unacceptance of diversity. Things must change. We must change. As a nation, we need to actively shed our historical DNA of nation-building through dominance. Instead, we must collectively realize – and accept – that what will enable America and her people to truly succeed is integration, where disparate groups are able to come together and commingle with ease.

Rather than saying we are a country created by immigrants, it is time for everyone to wake up to the fact that this nation is continually being created, purely by virtue of its continuous immigration. There needs to be a new model of social integration because the ‘ole melting pot’ assimileth over. The new model must be welcoming, adaptive, capable of letting similarities emerge even as it celebrates the differences – like a mosaic. We all play a part in the mosaic: bringing to it our brave, resplendent selves, and creating a home – and an America – that is inclusive toward all and enables each and every one of us to truly belong.

We’ve started with building solidarity and inclusion through the Arts, encouraging disparate communities to come together in a way that creates a sense of belonging to the mosaic that is America. Our artists use inspiration from their individual cultures and art forms to collaborate and co-create unique dance, music and spoken word performances that highlight our common threads while celebrating our diversity. (Check out our latest Mosaic Connect performance to see what we mean!)

We’re ready to start making the mosaic of America – are you? If you’re an artist, an Arts group, or even just an enthusiast, click here to learn how you can join the Mosaic family.