The Hexagon Project has its roots in the Interdependence Movement, which was started in Philadelphia by Benjamin R. Barber (1939 -2017), Senior Research Scholar at The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society of The Graduate Center, The City University of New York author of Jihad vs. McWorld and founder of the Global Parliament of Mayors. After September 11, 2001, Barber and a group of intellectuals, political leaders and artists from several countries wrote a declaration of interdependence in 2003 and founded Interdependence Day to be held each year on September 12. The movement aims to raise awareness about the interdependent nature of global society and seek trans-national cooperative solutions to global challenges.
Independence used to be the ticket for liberty. But today, security and freedom, whether it’s in the Arab Spring, whether it’s in Iraq or whether it’s right here in the United States, means working cooperatively and interdependently with others.Benjamin Barber
A significant contributor to this movement, Sondra Myers, Senior Fellow for International Civic and Cultural Projects at University of Scranton and co-editor of Interdependence Handbook, invited Elizabeth Burkhauser to join the movement during its yearly celebration in 2006. The Interdependence Hexagon Project began that same year with the aim of promoting the ideals of interdependence and global citizenship through visual arts. The hexagon was chosen as a metaphor for interconnectedness. Our works later expanded to using art for social action, activism and education through art.
Mission & Vision
The mission of the Hexagon Project is to spread the meaning of interdependence through school- and community-created hexagons. Themes of social justice, identity, peace and the environment are expressed, through the power of the arts, in an increasingly interconnected world.
The Hexagon Project endeavors to promote a sense of belonging to a broader community and common humanity by emphasizing socio-cultural, political and economic interdependency and interconnectedness among the local, the national and the global. It seeks to provide opportunities for children, youth and adults to engage in critical inquiry through visual art and acquire the knowledge and understanding of local and global issues and the interconnectedness and interdependency of different cultures and countries. It seeks to promote the shared values, responsibilities, empathy and respect for differences and diversity. It hopes to inspire individuals to act ethically and responsibly at local, national and global levels and contribute to a more sustainable and a peaceful global society.
What is Interdependence? It’s a simple idea, though often difficult to realize. Interdependence is living together peaceably and respectfully in the post-communist, post-Cold War period as local, regional and global citizens in this increasingly interconnected world. Communication and the Internet are bringing people closer together, to transcend hatred, prejudice, resentment and fear of the “other”.
Interdependence means transforming our energies toward coexistence through collaboration, cooperation and coming together to solve local, regional and global challenges that face our world. Through creative means and critical thinking, we can narrow the gap between the privileged and the poor, between the powerful and the undeserved, and build bridges between our cultural, religious, economic, and political differences. Interdependence is living with the consciousness that we have the power to achieve more when we are together, than alone. To learn more about interdependence, see The Interdependence Handbook.
What is Interdependence Day?
Interdependence Day was launched in Philadelphia on September 12, 2003. The date was deliberately chosen as a post 9/11 symbol of regeneration, as a time to reflect on the tragedy of the incidents of terror, not only in the United States, but all over the world, and to ask ourselves “What next?” It seemed critically important to acknowledge the inevitability and significance of interdependence in our time, and set out to build constructively and culturally a global civic society.
Since the launching event in Philadelphia in 2003, there have been major Interdependence Day observances in Rome and Paris, along with Philadelphia and in communities and on campuses around the world, including Scranton, which has celebrated Interdependence Day since 2006. The commemoration is organized by a planning committee comprised of volunteers from the cultural community, the secondary and higher education community, local civic groups, religious groups, local libraries, county government and many others.
A Call to Action
Civic, cultural, educational, and religious organizations all over the world are increasingly taking the lead in strengthening democracy and promoting a culture of interdependence. To paraphrase Rabbi Tarfone, in the Pirke Aboth, “we are not required to complete the work, but neither are we free to desist from it”. Together we can promote interdependence by using our creative and critical skills, our intellect and imagination, creativity and compassion, our dynamism and inspiration, and most importantly our will.
The Hexagon Project uses the Hexagon as a metaphor for Interdependence and interconnectedness. As such, the hexagon is a composition of complex relationships, interdependent lines, like bonds of human connection. It maintains its own presence as a shape, symbol of light and life. Destined to be part of a whole – it becomes a splendid architectural element, forever expandable. Multiples attach and strengthen one another to become an infinite network of connections.