“Justice, Diversity, and Opportunity”
UMass mural painted by
Danny Devenny, Irish republican muralist and former IRA prisoner
Mark Ervine, British loyalist muralist
and members of the UMass community
This mural was commissioned by UMass Amherst in conjunction with the
Art of Conflict Transformation Event Series to explore the power of art in conflict transformation and in support of peacebuilding after the historic British/Irish peace accord.
It was rededicated April 10, 2023 on the 25th Anniversary of the Belfast Good Friday Agreement with the support of the Chancellor’s Office and the British and Irish Consul Generals to New England.
A mural representing the art of conflict transformation
The UMass mural “Justice, Diversity and Opportunity” finds its meaning in who painted it and the context in which they did so—the context of the conflict and efforts to imbed the peace in the north of Ireland/Northern Ireland and the context of UMass’ history and the involvement of its community in the mural’s creation. There is a story behind the mural and stories within the mural that reflect these realities.
In 2009-2010, the University commissioned the mural as an educational project about conflict, peacebuilding, and the transformative power of art. More than 1200 members of the campus and surrounding communities came hear about the ground-breaking collaboration by Danny Devenny, an Irish republican muralist and former IRA prisoner, and Mark Ervine, a British loyalist muralist have undertaken together as part of the peace process, to watch them create the UMass mural—and many contributed ideas and picked up a paint brush to lend a hand.
The Art of Conflict Transformation Event Series brings to UMass scholars, artists, and conflict resolvers to explore the geography of conflict; the spaces in and on which conflict has been imprinted and expressed, and the emerging terrains of resistance, resilience, and transformation.