Art for Awareness

Former Poly students from the Classes of ‘20 and ‘23 created a chalk mural to express their support of the Black Lives Matter protest on the street near campus recently. Their drawing is on Arden Road, near Oak Grove Ave.

The chalk mural was created with the support of Midnight Muralists, a group focused on bringing social justice discussions about the Black Lives Matter movement, police brutality, and racial inequality into all neighborhoods. As Aidan Rawlinson ‘20 explains, “We are hoping that these murals don’t only act as beautiful pieces of artwork but also as catalysts to begin discussions in neighborhoods that don’t usually face systemic inequality. Even better, these chalk murals might encourage people in these neighborhoods to realize that they too can be activists and that there are many different ways to be an activist.”

Caitlin Wu ‘20 explained her pull to get involved with the group, “During quarantine, I've felt very helpless with regards to the Black Lives Matter movement. Although I've posted on social media about information regarding police brutality and have donated to several BLM organizations, I haven't gone to the protests because of the ongoing pandemic and the risk it could pose to my family and my friends. For that reason, I haven't felt like I've actively supported the cause in the way I'd like to.” She went on to describe what the feeling of creating the first mural was like for her. “It was extremely therapeutic to come together with friends of mine and even strangers within our community to work on displaying a message in support of the BLM movement. Additionally, I think the medium is so effective because it's non-threatening, but draws attention, even to those who don't agree with the movement. I think that's really important — on social media, since most of my followers are my peers and many of my peers share the same political perspectives as I do, it often feels like we're in an echo chamber. However, the chalk mural is an eye-catching, peaceful, and productive way of displaying our message loud and proud to those who don't necessarily believe in the movement. The messages drawn begin conversations, negative or positive, that start our community talking about often uncomfortable, yet prominent issues, like racism; that's where I believe the change starts.”

Stop by to see their efforts to support activism for those who are practicing physical distancing, but still want to bring awareness and change to the racial injustices of the world. Take a photo and spread their message on social media or contact them on Facebook to get involved!
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