The Promises That Really Got Us

Hundreds of promisesliterallyhave been made at Public Trust so far at Dudley Square and Kendall Center. Today marks the halfway point of the artwork, which ends in Copley Square on September 17, and we're taking a moment to pause and reflect on some of the promises and participants who've made an effect on all of us, engaged deep conversations, signaled a spark of joy that will live on long after Public Trust is disassembled. We asked the artist ambassadors, who sit at the table every day and engage conversation with participants, to choose some promises that are sticking with them days or weeks later. We hope they inspire you, too.

I like it not only because the promise itself is what we should remind ourselves everyday, but also because it goes with the rest of the board really well. Another reason, as an artist ambassador who has been witnessing the process of people making their promises, is that this woman did not make hers the first time that she came to us. But she came the day after, having thought about her promise all night,.That was when I thought: Art has done its job! —Deniz Khateri The woman who made this promise is a rape survivor, and was on her way to lead a survivor's circle. She had amazing energy and I was inspired by her drive to help others overcome what she had to also live with. I know she will keep this promise. —Maria Finkelmeier

I like it not only because the promise itself is what we should remind ourselves everyday, but also because it goes with the rest of the board really well. Another reason, as an artist ambassador who has been witnessing the process of people making their promises, is that this woman did not make hers the first time that she came to us. But she came the day after, having thought about her promise all night,.That was when I thought: Art has done its job! —Deniz Khateri

The woman who made this promise is a rape survivor, and was on her way to lead a survivor's circle. She had amazing energy and I was inspired by her drive to help others overcome what she had to also live with. I know she will keep this promise. —Maria Finkelmeier

The most powerful interaction I had was with a 15 year old African-American girl at Dudley. She had a book with her, and was on her way home from the library. She had just come back from Chile, where she had traveled to volunteer as an aid worker. I asked her if she knew what she wanted to study, and she replied she wanted to be a brain surgeon. She was so serene, empowered, eloquent, and her promise was to "Stay independent." This interaction and her promise really struck me. I had to hold back some tears, she was very inspiring! Made me so hopeful for the future! She swore on the constitution, which seemed very appropriate. —Julia Cseko

The most powerful interaction I had was with a 15 year old African-American girl at Dudley. She had a book with her, and was on her way home from the library. She had just come back from Chile, where she had traveled to volunteer as an aid worker. I asked her if she knew what she wanted to study, and she replied she wanted to be a brain surgeon. She was so serene, empowered, eloquent, and her promise was to "Stay independent." This interaction and her promise really struck me. I had to hold back some tears, she was very inspiring! Made me so hopeful for the future! She swore on the constitution, which seemed very appropriate. —Julia Cseko

"I promise to be more present"—because being present is critical part of being really human, for me. Who is really present?... —Lidia Russell She was striving to create a space for her kids to think deeply and discover the world for themselves. As she works so hard, I know she wanted to simply be able to enjoy each moment! —Maria Finkelmeier

"I promise to be more present"—because being present is critical part of being really human, for me. Who is really present?... —Lidia Russell

She was striving to create a space for her kids to think deeply and discover the world for themselves. As she works so hard, I know she wanted to simply be able to enjoy each moment! —Maria Finkelmeier

I like "I promise to finish my novel" for the way the sentence breaks like a poem: I promise / To finish / My novel. I like the composition—one syllable followed by two syllables in each line. I like that the promise is simple and direct. "I promise to plant a date palm" reminds me of date palms and date fruits and I like the way the sentence reads and sounds. —Zayde Buti

I like "I promise to finish my novel" for the way the sentence breaks like a poem: I promise / To finish / My novel. I like the composition—one syllable followed by two syllables in each line. I like that the promise is simple and direct.

"I promise to plant a date palm" reminds me of date palms and date fruits and I like the way the sentence reads and sounds. —Zayde Buti

"This promise by Brahiem Tippett is now my favorite. Brahiem is one of our overnight security guards, and after he was relieved this morning, he stuck around to make a promise. I got a chance to speak with Brahiem for a while the other night in Dudley, and he is such an insightful, intelligent, funny, and positive young man. I am so proud that he's on our team. There are so many people involved in making this happen—so many the public will never see or hear about—and it makes me really happy that he made a point of interacting with the piece when the chance arose.  <3" —Bianca Mauro

"This promise by Brahiem Tippett is now my favorite. Brahiem is one of our overnight security guards, and after he was relieved this morning, he stuck around to make a promise. I got a chance to speak with Brahiem for a while the other night in Dudley, and he is such an insightful, intelligent, funny, and positive young man. I am so proud that he's on our team. There are so many people involved in making this happen—so many the public will never see or hear about—and it makes me really happy that he made a point of interacting with the piece when the chance arose.  <3" —Bianca Mauro

A promise that has really stuck with me was, "I promise to stay friends with my Freshman year roommate." It was a promise made by two women who have been friends before starting college and were determined to fight against the stigma of ruining a friendship by living together. Now that they have made it past their freshman year, they expressed wanting to focus on maintaining their friendship without growing apart. This was a promise that stuck with me, because it made me think of one of my best friends, Aldora. We met our freshman year of high school, dormed together during our freshman year of college, and have maintained our friendship over a decade later! I can only hope that the friendship shared by the women who made the promise will continue to be as strong, transformative, and inspiring as mine with Aldora. —Chanel Thervil

A promise that has really stuck with me was, "I promise to stay friends with my Freshman year roommate." It was a promise made by two women who have been friends before starting college and were determined to fight against the stigma of ruining a friendship by living together. Now that they have made it past their freshman year, they expressed wanting to focus on maintaining their friendship without growing apart. This was a promise that stuck with me, because it made me think of one of my best friends, Aldora. We met our freshman year of high school, dormed together during our freshman year of college, and have maintained our friendship over a decade later! I can only hope that the friendship shared by the women who made the promise will continue to be as strong, transformative, and inspiring as mine with Aldora. —Chanel Thervil

It wasn't a promise that I took in, but I felt like we (as a whole group) were being unquestionably useful today when we witnessed Silvi and Jimena oversee the oath, "I promise to not take my life." —Heather Kapplow My entire body and soul shook when she stated her promise. I wanted to give her all my love. She cried as we shared a short conversation. She opened her arms to the sky as she made her oath. We embraced in tears and she went on with her day. I am still thinking about her. —Silvi Naci

It wasn't a promise that I took in, but I felt like we (as a whole group) were being unquestionably useful today when we witnessed Silvi and Jimena oversee the oath, "I promise to not take my life." —Heather Kapplow

My entire body and soul shook when she stated her promise. I wanted to give her all my love. She cried as we shared a short conversation. She opened her arms to the sky as she made her oath. We embraced in tears and she went on with her day. I am still thinking about her. —Silvi Naci

We'll have another round of promises highlighted near the end of Public Trust. In the meantime, come down to Kendall to make your promise and share your favorites on social media with the hashtag #PublicTrustBOS.