BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Two Maryland schools tied through a tragic crime have joined forces to spread a message of unity and peace.

It’s a message Bowie State University and the University of Maryland: College Park hope will be heard by everyone.

On a day where love is celebrated, the hands and hearts of two Maryland schools carry the same message.

“The overall theme for the peace was unity, peace, we wanted to bring two campuses together,” said former Bowie State student James Okoro.

After months of hard work, art students from Bowie State and UMD took the wraps off a four-panel mural on Wednesday.

The artists behind it say it carries a deep message.

“Express that in the political climate and with all the injustice going on that two diverse groups can come together and creates something that brings peace to people,” Okoro said.

Freedom, equality, justice, education, leadership and unity shine brightly inside the sun on the mural. The artists say they wanted the words to radiate to everyone.

The words haven’t reached all Maryland colleges in recent years. Many of the campuses have been the scene of several hate crimes.

Both campuses are linked by the murder of Army 2nd Lieutenant Richard Collins II. Collins was just days way from graduating from Bowie State when he was stabbed to death on the College Park campus last May.

Prosecutors say his death was a hate crime. The artists now hope true peace can spread with their message across Maryland and Annapolis.

“Maybe some of the representatives can get together and look at it and say ‘hey, let’s find a way to make peace throughout the state of Maryland,'” Okoro said.

The mural will remain in the House of Delegates for the rest of the legislative session.

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