The Jackson community came together on Friday, June 19 in Downtown Jackson to make an important statement about our city: Black Lives Matter. The City of Jackson worked with residents to paint a mural on the road surface of W. Washington Avenue that says “Black Lives Matter” in bold letters.
Jackson residents Lana Kane and Tricia Chamberlain recently approached the City about painting the mural. It was first approved by the City of Jackson Public Arts Commission, and granted final approval from the Jackson City Council at their meeting on Tuesday, June 16. The painting of the mural in the center lane of W. Washington was a community-led event supported by the City of Jackson. The City closed the street to traffic, provided paint and consulted with traffic engineers to ensure the mural was properly placed on the street. Funding for the mural comes from the Public Arts Commission budget, which are funds to be specifically used for public art projects in Jackson.
The mural painting comes one week after a similar Black Lives Matter mural was painted on the road surface of E. High Street near the MLK Equality Trail and Elnora Moorman Plaza. City of Jackson leadership fully supports these murals and what they represent. “The City is furthering the discussion about how we can dismantle systemic racism in our community. We hope these murals will spur further action and help unite our diverse community,” said City of Jackson Public Information Officer Aaron Dimick. “In Jackson, we firmly believe black lives matter, so these murals are great representations of our community.”
Also at their June 16 meeting, the Jackson City Council unanimously passed a resolution that declares racism a public health crisis, and laid out ways the City can combat systemic racism in the community.