On May 31st, hundreds of Windsorites gathered by the riverfront carrying signs with calls to action: « End systemic racism», « Divest the Police, invest in communities », and « Support and empower Black lives ». Peaceful protesters gathered in solidarity after the death of George Floyd, and of all Black folks killed while interacting with police. Floyd died on May 25th, 2020, in Minneapolis after an officer knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes while three other officers stood by.
In the weeks that followed, people have discussed and debated difficult questions: What is systemic racism? What can we do to address and tackle racism in our community? How can we be better allies? In Summer 2020, the Art Gallery of Windsor (AGW) invited members of the public who participated in protests against anti-Black racism to submit images of their signs and posters, or photographs of the march itself. Throughout the summer, images submitted were presented virtually via AGW’s social media presence. In Fall 2020, an archive of posters and protester experiences will be presented onsite at the AGW.
This project is programmed and presented in partnership with the Coalition for Justice, Unity & Equity, who organized one of the many peaceful protests in Windsor and Essex County. The Coalition For Justice, Unity & Equity strives to promote equality, respect, and understanding amongst all members of our community by advocating for racialized peoples, particularly of African descent, facing difficulty with employment, community, and human rights services.
Thank you to Danielle Sylvestre and the organizers of the Peaceful Protest in Belle River for collecting posters. This exhibition runs until January 17, 2021.