Pearson Airport in Mississauga and Raptors team up to display ‘Humanity’

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Published February 24, 2022 at 12:09 pm

Pearson Airport in Mississauga and artwork from Raptors
"Humanity," an art installation created by Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri (right), was unveiled this week at Pearson Airport. Greater Toronto Airports Authority president and CEO Deborah Flint helped unveil the art. (Photo: GTAA)

The Toronto Raptors and Mississauga’s Pearson Airport have joined forces to bring a touch of Humanity to the airport.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs Pearson, and Raptors’ president and vice-chair Masai Ujiri unveiled the Humanity art installation yesterday (Feb. 23) inside Terminal 1, departures level.

The one-of-a-kind piece, which will remain on display until May 31, was created by Ujiri, who was inspired by Nelson Mandela’s legacy of fighting for equality.

That fight continues to be an important one in society today, Ujiri noted.

Representing peace, togetherness, youth and diversity, the art installation uses light to create a ripple effect with its words, symbolizing the need to spread more humanity.

The 8-foot-high steel structure, lit up from the inside, is made up of 35 words that reflect what humanity means to Ujiri.

“I wanted to put a symbol up to remind people that we should see each other as equals, always lead with respect and treat each other with kindness—no bias, prejudice and injustice,” said Ujiri, also founder of Giants of Africa, an organization that provides skills training, personal development and sports facilities for those in need in Africa.

GTAA president and CEO Deborah Flint said the work of art is a welcome addition to the airport.

Its focus on human connection and diversity is fitting for its new home given that Pearson connects diverse people and cultures from all over the world, she noted.

“I see a lot of commonalities between the good work that Masai has done with the Humanity Movement and the work that we do here at Pearson every day to help connect the world,” Flint said. “Chief among those commonalities is a focus on people. Pearson may be one of Canada’s biggest and most vital pieces of infrastructure, but we’re far more than glass and metal—we’re a distinctly human space. This piece reminds us of what’s important, and that is, of course, people—and how we can and should work together to help each other along the way, whatever journey we may be on.”

The Humanity Movement was launched by Ujiri in 2020.

The Humanity piece has previously been displayed in Toronto at Maple Leaf Square and in front of Union Station.

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