“I literally look homeless right now.”
Words overheard from a classmate in my 9:30 am Logo Design class.
Her outfit: a pair of sweatpants and a loose-fitting t-shirt.
The word “homeless” carries such a heavy stigma, and that weight falls on the shoulders of those who have been there.
Creative Advertising professor, Willie Baronet, has been buying and collecting homeless signs for a project titled WE ARE ALL HOMELESS which he created in 1993. To me, this project acts as a gesture to humanize the people who have unwillingly been made invisible. While interacting with a homeless person on a street corner, I’m certain I’m not the only one who fiddles with my A/C, pretends to see something important on my phone, or just looks the other way. The people who find themselves in such adverse circumstances are completely ignored. Reduced to nothing but sharpies on cardboard.
On a chilly November morning, Willie Baronet brought Home is a Journey to SMU. The first annual walk to raise awareness about homelessness, compassion, gratitude and privilege. Students and supporters marched from Doak Walker Plaza to Dallas Hall Lawn, carrying authentic homeless signs, created and held by someone experiencing homelessness. A lineup of compelling speakers shared their stories about experiencing homelessness, an eye-opening and humbling experience for everyone in attendance.
Baronet recounts the event, “The most poignant moment of the whole march was when we turned right on the boulevard. I looked back and saw a line of 120 people, nobody smiling, nobody talking, all carrying signs…the gravity of that image was so powerful.”
This week, the majority of SMU’s student body will go home for the holidays.
Which prompts the question: What is home?
Is it a group of people? A familiar location? A feeling?
Whatever home means to you, this project intends to shift your perspective, remove the stigma around homelessness and create a sense of gratitude for what you do have.
This past weekend was the Home is a Journey event which held the first annual SMU walk to raise awareness about…