By Rachel Holt

BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Uncornered Photo Project Exhibit can now be found on the Seaport Common at 85 Northern Avenue, with over thirty 5’x8′ black and white portraits serving as a reminder of our unified humanity. “We started with students first- portraits- and then we started mixing in sort of prominent people from Boston,” photographer John Huet shared.

“The Uncornered Photo Project, which grew out of Boston Uncornered, is really about showing the universality of our stories: how we’re trapped and cornered and how we can be uncornered, how we can get unstuck and get out of our low times if we lean into our networks and if we allow other people to help us,” said founder and CEO of Boston Uncornered Mark Culliton.

Will Dunn is one of the people with his story on display. The Roxbury native is now a College Readiness Advisor with Boston Uncornered, helping empower youth to break the cycle of poverty and violence. The organization helps former gang members pursue college degrees, supports them with weekly stipends, and provides mentoring.

“I’m here coming from the hood, coming through the hood. Trying to help all the guys in the hood get their education and try to be a little something better than what they’re doing right now,” Dunn said.

The Boston Uncornered Photo Project Exhibit (WBZ-TV)

Other portraits featured in the exhibit include Patriots Captain Devin McCourty, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, and Mayor Marty Walsh, each telling their own unique story of overcoming adversity to become “uncornered.”

“These are people that are highly successful people but that didn’t mean that they were always that way. There’s times in their lives when they needed to make a change and what direction they were going in,” Huet said. “You can get inspired by the mayor, or you can get inspired by a guy who was in prison for nine years. I think that’s what the beauty of this is.”

Dunn said, “I have a serious background. To see me now, people are like, ‘oh no, you couldn’t have been involved in none of that.’ But it was people that helped me get over the hump all through the years in my 20’s and 30’s and that’s what I’m trying to do, is to give back to be help for someone else.”

Culliton is hoping the photo project helps spur some change, telling us, “almost every time,o when I hear people who have been to the Uncornered Photo Project they say they thought differently about those young men and women who are involved in gangs, and that’s what it’s all about.”

The installation will be on view through October 25. For more information on Boston Uncornered, visit their website.

Rachel Holt

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