What Makes America Great

Unity = Equality by Lyla Paakkanen

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Artist Statement

"America is a collections of very diverse people, all with their own stories and cultural backgrounds. The thing that makes this United States of America so great is the fact that we are so united in our diversity. Children know this. They have no problem, when they are very young, accepting that we are all equal, all the same and diverse at the same time.. One child may have dark hair and another light, but they can still be best friends. It is only as a child grows older that differences may be important, that some may be taught that others who are different are less than themselves. When considering ideas for this design, I came back to the idea of how children are so easy to accept each other. It was a child, a young girl, not from this country, who spoke of the rights that she could not enjoy, the rights that we in this country enjoy, in our unity, in our diversity that makes our country so great. "I speak not for myself but for those without voice... those who have fought for their rights... their right to live in peace, their right to be treated with dignity, their right to equality of opportunity, their right to be educated." Malala Yousafzai" - Lyla Paakkanen

Lyla Paakkanen lives in Sacramento, where the Pony Express ended its route. She is a freelance artist and illustrator, has a Master’s Degree in Art from CSUN, Communications Design from UCLA. She taught art at 5 colleges and has won many awards in California and Colorado for her work.

About What Makes America Great

What Makes America Great is a collection of designs celebrating the things that our artists believe make America truly great. Proceeds support DreamCorps, a social justice accelerator founded by Van Jones that advances economic, environmental, and criminal justice solutions.

About our Prints

Each poster is hand-printed and handled, to make sure that only the highest quality is offered and sent out. The matte paper and high quality of inks make for a vibrant image which looks great both framed, and au-naturel. Printed in Los Angeles, CA, on Epson Enhanced Matte Paper, heavyweight stock, high color gamut, using Epson UltraChrome HDR ink-jet technology. Framed posters offer the same, museum-quality printed poster, but wrapped in a protective black frame. The frame is lightweight and includes a shatter-resistant acrylite front protector, so it won't break in the mail. International orders may be subject to customs duties & taxes.