The following announcement was provided by Sunrise Watertown:
The past three Sundays, Sunrise Watertown, Uplift Watertown, and the Kingian Response Team partnered to create art for the upcoming Unity Breakfast (January 18, 2021). At the event, they painted banners with quotes from past and present civil rights activists that will be used to decorate the town in January as part of their #readthestreets campaign.
“The Kingian Response Team was formed to develop a united local response to the murder of George Floyd. Over the past few months, this team has developed and proposed an antiracist Listen-Learn-Grow-Act pledge for both individuals and institutions in our town, in particular for our educational and public safety institutions,” writes Ruth Henry, founder of the Kinging Response Team and teacher at Watertown Middle School. “I am excited to see the wisdom and insight of so many past and present Civil Rights leaders expressed through quotes across our town, as I believe that these quotes can help open all of our minds to the necessity of confronting and abolishing racism right here in our own community.”
Masked up and ready to create art, the leaders of Sunrise Watertown, Leyla Mandel and Lana Taffel, as well as Sarah Pardo, founder of Uplift Watertown, took pictures and helped create banners alongside members of each group. Despite the ongoing pandemic, these activists are still finding ways to make a meaningful difference within their community by using art as a central part of their activism; what they’re doing is fostering grassroots change by allowing people to connect with one another, share experiences, and use art as a means for healing.
“When people walk and drive through town they’ll bear witness not only to MLK’s words and wisdom but also to the broader legacy of the Civil Right’s Movement. We included quotes from today’s BLM activists to honor the fight for peace, equity, and freedom happening right now,” says Sarah Pardo. “This year’s Unity Breakfast will feel even more community-oriented than in past years, as we’re coming together after months of isolation and pain from not just the pandemic but the many injustices happening around the country as well. To me, it only makes sense that Watertown’s growth as a community should be reflected at this year’s Unity Breakfast,” adds Leyla Mandel.
In January, the 21st annual Unity Breakfast will be occurring in Watertown. It may look different due to the pandemic, but one thing is for certain, Uplift Watertown, the Kingian Response Team, and Sunrise Watertown will continue to show up and put in the work to make their community a fairer and safer place for all.
Want to make your own banner and make history? As of Monday December 21, you can contact Watertown Citizens for Black Lives and pick up art materials!