Robin Hickman: Changing the conversation

Robin Hickman showing off one of her iconic dolls.

One person can change the conversation, Robin Hickman is proof of that.

She believes in the healing power of listening to those fighting to create space and care in our communities as she works across barriers to change conversations. She believes by recognizing young people’s gifts we help them see the value in their ideas and they will walk with purpose.

For many of us Hickman represents our connection to her great uncle and groundbreaking photojournalist, author and director, Gordon Parks. Hickman works tireless to insure Parks is remembered for shining a light on our communities because he knew the impact of being unseen or excluded. The legacy of his photography shows intentionality and thoughtfulness of our struggle and inspires young people to become creative through the arts, especially photography.

Hickman has noticed a trend as she works with students throughout the globe from Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul to Ghana, West Africa.

“How we are treated here requires us to know our worth,” said Hickman.“We must be intentional every time we walk out the door and walk with the posture my mother would want us to have despite the events in the world.”

Hickman’s family has owned a home in the Selby-Dale neighborhood of St. Paul for almost 50 years. She admires her mother, Patty Hickman, for keeping her innocence, hope and undying love for her family and community.

Robin Hickman infuses self-care and purpose as she uses her creativity to plan community conversations and accelerate the healing effort. She looks forward to moving beyond the responsibility of guiding people in discussion, she wants to see action.

Hickman is inspired by her own recognition for her “power of one.” In addition to being honored by The Links for her civic leadership recently, the organization also recognized the photography of students of Gordon Park High School. The value of recognition is priceless, for many it revives the spirit.

Hickman is focused on the connection between our achievements and success will be more leaders holding space and including others in the conversation. She is ready to change the situation, rewrite the script and bring beauty into the world. Her art has been her longest standing passion, she learned to harness her creativity into paper dolls and reflect the confidence of black consciousness.

After a year of doll exhibits commemorating Prince, Trayvon Martin and Black Lives Matter in her artwork, Hickman is combining worlds to expose her social commentary and promote positive lifestyles. Her artwork is healing her while she is healing humanity. She is ready to take her rightful place in the world, and she wants her community to join her.

Motivated by the joy it brings to people, her dolls remind her of another option. In her world, she reflects and creates lifestyles, scenarios and stories of hope. Her art represents beauty, power, wisdom and consciousness.

When you see her doll show you are witnessing her mother’s dream for every child, to grow up knowing the peace of innocence. She’s inspiring a generation globally.

“Seeing an elder mother start crying at the image of a doll that looks like them. I’ve started a movement and I’m so proud of it. Having something I’ve created and a vision to root me in the storm allows me to keep going,” said Hickman.

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