SAN JOSE, Calif. - Leaders from the City of San Jose joined the community activist organization YouthHype to commemorate newly installed Black Lives Matter banners at San Jose City Hall.
The project aims to use art to engage in critical conversations about race and representation.
“We were happy to work with the community to find a prominent way to celebrate the Black Lives Matter movement, and to acknowledge the important work ahead for all of us.” said Mayor Sam Liccardo. “Thanks to community leader LaToya Fernandez and the members of YouthHype for their leadership and advocacy, and to artist Cherise Orange for lending her creative talent to help us shape a new narrative for San Jose—one that embraces our diversity, and that appropriately reckons with a history of racial injustice.”
The San Jose City Hall has long been a place for gathering and demonstrating free speech. The banners were placed in this symbolic location as a way to incorporate a dialogue about racial equality.
The Black Lives Matter banners were designed by local entrepreneur, Cherise Orange, the CEO and Brand Artist for You Just Got Oranged.
The banners feature the phrases “Voices. Dreams. Futures.” and display the colors of the Pan African Flag, a symbol of pride, liberty and celebration for Black Americans.
"The unveiling of the BLM banner at City Hall is an important step in acknowledging that we cannot begin the conversation about all lives matter until we recognize and acknowledge that Black Lives Matter," said Vice Mayor Chappie Jones. "Symbols and statements have meaning and they express to the world what our values are as a city. I look forward to working with my council colleagues to engage in the difficult work of tearing down the barriers that are holding back our Black residents from achieving our full potential and realizing our dreams of a just and equitable society."
“This initiative is an example of why we can only move forward if we listen to the voices of those who will lead the way, our youth! We give them a platform and ask them to help us reimagine a city where everyone feels empowered and included," said LaToya Fernandez, Founder of YouthHype.