Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Red brick road
Larry Young Jr.
A visit to the Poynter Institute isn’t official until you walk its red brick road.
The path, one of beauty, stands out because it is so unique. It starts off straight. It curves. Then leads into a courtyard of lush greenery.
But we’re not talking a walk in any other courtyard. We’re not talking a dusty, uneven surface that would batter a person’s feet. We’re not talking a courtyard that fails to make a first time visitor feel at ease.
It’s more of a hidden jewel, sandwiched between classrooms, which open up into one of Poynter’s most beautiful lounge areas.
“The courtyard was established as a quiet space,” said Kenny Irby, visual journalism group leader and diversity director. “It’s a place where people can go to read, and see quotes from people like Ida B. Wells. And a place where people can make a tribute.”
Along the walk are empowering messages. Along the walk are bricks, both large and small, that are memorials to loved ones. And along the walk are bricks commemorating the establishment of journalism schools around the country—even Poynter.
Anyone can add his or her name, custom phrase or message to the courtyard for a $100 donation, which is 100 percent tax deductible.
“All the money from donations goes to fellowships to help others get funding to come to Poynter,” Irby said. “It’s been a huge success.”
Indeed this place is an inspiration for visitors and journalists. Indeed this place is an inspiration to everyone that has walked its red brick road.