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Bryan, Ashley, and Family - Black Lives Matter Project

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Bryan, Ashley, and their family.

“When we play outside, we are careful because we play with all different kinds of people. One of my friends said that she was scared to play outside because she’s black, and I said, ‘Don’t be scared.’”

“I wrote ‘Try Me’ in case someone tries to hurt my daddy.” “Everyone knows my dad is black, but then when I’m like, ‘That’s my mom,’ they’re shocked. They used to ask if I was adopted.”

“I wrote these for white people. So much of this is up to us to speak up for change. For better or worse, we have the power. We need to stand up and speak up.”

“I’ve been thinking about the morning when my social media was all black squares. At first, I thought my Instagram was broken. But if I’m being honest, I don’t think it will do anything.” “You have to have the action and follow-up to make change.”

“I think we’ve reached a tipping point. I don’t know, though, if we’ll be able to pull through the tipping point and change. We need more civic engagement. But there are lots of thoughts and beliefs that we can’t legislate away.”

The portraits of Bryan, Ashley, and their family and their words are part of my project to show how Columbus is responding to and working through the current national protests in support of 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 the organization, you can donate here.)

Thank you, Bryan, Ashley, and everyone who has joined the project. To join my project, please send me a private message or email at I want to tell your story next.

To read more about the project and to see a list of all the sessions, please click this link.

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