PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — An All Black Lives Matter street mural was installed in Kennedy Plaza Saturday.
It’s located adjacent to Burnside Park.
“This is a very silent but very loud protest,” said co-facilitator, Rodney Davis.
Davis who is co-facilitating the project was joined by Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza for the event.
Mayor Elorza said the public art installation officially launched PVDFest, a city-run art festival.
“One of the questions I have been asked a lot if why now? And the answer is pretty clear. There is a need to address the issues that are affecting black and brown lives in this city, state and country,” added Davis.
The design is meant to amplify that All Black Lives Matter, with the mural including designs that include Indigineous, Pan-African and LGBT communities.
The design work was done by local artists.
Mayor Elorza said the project has been in the works for the past year.
“I think that what we are doing here is really, really special,” said Mayor Elorza. “As a way to continue the conversation to make sure this message of all black lives matter, we center it literally in our city.”
Harrison Tuttle, Executive Director of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island PAC, said he thinks it’s a positive message for all.
“I think art and activism are super intersectional, being able to spark a conversation with art like this is a great way to make it visible for everyone to be able to want to create systemic change,” said Tuttle.
On Thursday, members of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island said the mural came as a complete shock to them, who say they were not asked about being a part of the process.
12 News caught up with Brother Gary Dantzler, the head of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island on Saturday, who said it was all a simple miscommunication.
“I feel honored that everyone is acknowledging the movement I started in Rhode Island, I feel good, it’s a miscommunication, we are going to get past that and work forward,” said Dantzler.
The ribbon cutting and celebration of the street mural will take place during the weekend of Juneteenth.
Dantlzer said he will also be recognized for his Black Lives Matter work that weekend.