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Avi and Akhila - Black Lives Matter Project

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

Avi and Akhila.

“Everyone should be treated equally no matter what color their skin is. But it’s hard to tell someone to stop doing something mean, especially if it’s your friend. You don’t want to hurt their feelings. But you have to be brave and say something.

“Just because someone has a different color skin doesn’t mean they’re a criminal or a terrorist. We’ve never really experienced anything just because we’re Indian, but I think that’s because we’re more Americanized. I know people are treated differently if they can’t speak the language well.

“What we’ve been thinking about is the protesters saying, ‘No justice, no peace.’ They won’t stop protesting until there is justice for George Floyd. No justice, no peace.”

The portraits of Avi and Akhila and their words are part of my project to create portraits to show how Columbus is responding to and working through the current national protests in support of Black Lives Matter.

Those joining the project might wear a favorite shirt with an important message or person on it, draw messages and symbols on themselves, pose with a sign or book, bring a photo of someone inspirational, sit with someone important, or anything else they want to share in support of #blacklivesmatter. We might show love, anger, support, sadness, and every emotion in between. It is my goal to show all ages, young and old.

The goal of each photo and accompanying story is to show how each person is processing and responding to our country’s latest swell of support for Black Lives Matter.

In addition to creating the portraits for the project, I have asked participants to “donate what you can” for each portrait sitting. Donations will benefit the Equal Justice Initiative, a national organization directed by Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy.

(If you’re interested in donating directly to each organization, you can donate here.)

To join my project, please send me a private message or email at I want to tell your story next.

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