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‘I AM...’ exhibit opens

The second “I AM…” photo shoot has taken place involving local students and teachers and an exhibit of that work will be available for viewing Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Riverenza, 401 East 10th Street.

Keilman Dental Clinic PC created the platform for the I AM campaign that “encourages conversations around our uniqueness and how participants see themselves.”

This year, a team from the dental office at 421 W. Ninth St., visited Colonel Wright Elementary School, The Dalles Middle School and The Dalles High School to get comments and photos.

“We saw the need for our community to come together and celebrate diversity among our friends, family, neighbors and patients who call The Dalles home,” said Dr. Mark Keilman, co-owner of the clinic with his wife, Cathie Keilman, during the inaugural showing in 2016.

Participants were asked to use one word that represented their individual identity and potential.

The idea behind the program is to “define how to broaden acceptance among family, friends and community members.”

“People want to be seen as somebody besides what society sees of you,” said Cathie in 2016. “There are beautiful people in our community with powerful messages, and we want to remind people this is a great place to live.

“It’s such an important message to bring to this diverse community we live in. Everybody has the same heart, and people need to see us for who we are, and not judge us by our heritage or how we dress or how we choose our friends.”

During the evening of Oct. 12, the Riverenza will transform into a photo gallery that the Keilmans hope will be thought provoking.

The Keilman clinic can be reached for more information at 541-296-1118 or online at www.keilmandental.com/community/iam.

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