*Please see a media release below issued by the City of Burlington.
Burlington, Ont. — Aug. 7, 2020 — The City of Burlington is pleased to support the work of an anonymous artist who will be painting a mural in front of City Hall to pay tribute to the Black Lives Matter movement and show support for the minority black population in Burlington.
The artwork will be installed this weekend and will remain on the sidewalk for one month until Sept. 13.
Community Initiated Public Art
This mural was initiated by a group of residents in partnership with the City of Burlington’s Community Initiated Public Art Policy. The City of Burlington Public Art Program is committed to supporting community-led projects through public art resources and, where applicable, access to City-owned parks and facilities
Artist’s Statement – Black Lives Matter Mural
May 25, 2020. That day, a globally televised death of an unarmed Black man named George Floyd, exposed the deeply engrained institutionalized and systematic racism that persists in many countries throughout the globe. On May 25, 2020, the world could no longer turn a blind eye to the impact of anti-black racism. This day was THE day, a global reckoning began.
This painting depicts only a glimpse of the past few months, a reminder that racial injustice is not a “trend”, but rather, a humanitarian movement. The protests, the anger we collectively (should) feel, the petitions and calls to government officials, are what led to the charges against George Floyd’s killers. Donating time and money is important in this moment, and in order to create lasting change, we must acknowledge our own unconscious biases and work to discard the institutions and systems that perpetuate injustices and misinformation against people of colour.
Going forward, please…
- Seek to educate yourself. Although It is not the responsibility of Black/Brown people to educate you on what anti-black racism and its effects on communities of colour are, seek to listen to those who have experienced racism and learn from those affected, what you can do to SPONSOR inclusivity and justice for ALL.
- Realize how you contribute to the issue through racism or microaggressions.
- Racism: a belief that race is a primary determinate of human traits and capacities, and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race (Defined by Merriam – Webster)
- Microaggressions: a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (Defined by Merriam – Webster)
- Do your part, even behind closed doors. Stand up and speak up against any comments or actions you hear or see, even if nobody else is around.
“I am proud to share this mural in solidarity with thousands using their voices and peace to stand up for change, now. This is a symbol of making our world better by having the conversations and listening to the stories of our Black, Indigenous, and people of colour (BIPOC) community members. I look forward to being part of the learning process, healing process, and reconciliation that will lead to stopping racism of all kinds.” — Lisa Kearns, Ward 2 Councillor, City of Burlington
MAYOR MEED WARD’S TAKE:
The death of George Floyd is but one moment in a global history of systemic racism that has led to the intolerable and unacceptable loss of lives. Racism doesn’t exist only in the U.S., it’s in our own city too. I thank the artist for this mural, and providing this simple reminder that we each need to do our part to ensure our city, our region and our country treats everyone with equality and respect, regardless of skin colour. I will continue working with my Council colleagues and City staff, and listening to our residents to discover where racism exists in Burlington and how we can eradicate it. The location of this art installation at City Hall is one symbol of our commitment to ending anti-black racism.
LINKS & RESOURCES:
- Community Initiated Public Art Policy
- Ending Racism is All our Responsibility
- Large Urban Mayors’ Caucus of Ontario statements on Municipal Funding and Anti-Racism
*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist