The Soul Box Project on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

This Loss We Carry DC event poster

This Loss We Carry

October 16-17, 2021

The Soul Box Project exhibit on the National Mall will be the largest memorial to date, providing a dramatic visual for the incomprehensible number of people killed or injured by gunfire in the U.S. in fewer than three years.

Within this exhibit, almost 36,000 Soul Boxes will represent the number of U.S. gunfire deaths in just one year. This selection of Boxes will be exhibited on display panels under an open pavilion spanning the width of the Mall. Visitors will be able to get up close to view these memorials personalized with names, messages and compelling artwork.

Hundreds of volunteers will carry 164,000 additional Soul Boxes, representing the unnamed victims of gunfire, onto the Mall in a solemn procession.

The title of this exhibit, This Loss We Carry, is an apt description of how we can honor the many lives torn apart by the gunfire epidemic, echoing similar words from Amanda Gorman’s 2021 inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

This Loss We Carry DC event posterThis Loss We Carry

October 16-17, 2021

The Soul Box Project exhibit on the National Mall will be our largest memorial to date, providing a dramatic visual for the incomprehensible number of people killed or injured by gunfire in the U.S. in fewer than three years.

Within this exhibit, almost 36,000 Soul Boxes will represent the number of U.S. gunfire deaths in just one year. This selection of Boxes will be exhibited on display panels under an open pavilion spanning the width of the Mall. Visitors will be able to get up close to view these memorials personalized with names, messages and compelling artwork.

Hundreds of volunteers will carry 164,000 additional Soul Boxes, representing the unnamed victims of gunfire, onto the Mall in a solemn procession.

The title of this exhibit, This Loss We Carry, is an apt description of how we can honor the many lives torn apart by the gunfire epidemic, echoing similar words from Amanda Gorman’s 2021 inaugural poem, “The Hill We Climb.”

People attend Soul Box exhibit Washington D.C.

Be a Part of This Historic Event! Check out available travel discounts.

Join the Processions

Join the Processions

I’LL VOLUNTEER!

You can help carry the losses from gun violence by reverently bearing Soul Boxes into the exhibit. We need hundreds of volunteers to silently carry clear bags each holding 250 Soul Boxes onto the Mall the morning of October 16 and off again the afternoon of the 17th. These are not rallies or protest marches. Our dramatic processions, led by a funereal drum cadence, are an emotional memorial to victims.

More info and sign up

Provide Financial Support

Provide Financial Support

YES! I’LL HELP

We are grateful for our many generous donors and major grant awards. Please donate to make this event a reality and allow the Project to continue calling for action by touring exhibits across the country.

YES! I’LL HELP
Artist's rendering of Soul Box exhibit in front of the Smithsonian Castle

Answers to Your Questions about Washington, D.C.

Throughout the pandemic crisis, we have been actively watching the situation across the country and making contingency plans. We postponed the exhibit twice. The National Mall and surrounding monuments are subject to the District of Columbia’s mass gathering limitations and safety restrictions. We will continue to follow their guidance as the new date draws closer. However, travel is becoming safer with increasing availability of vaccinations, so we are proceeding with the expectation of being on the National Mall October 16-17, 2021. dc-information/coronavirus-event-attraction-information

If you hope to attend, let us know ASAP.

Fly with Alaska Airlines and receive 7% off the lowest fare!

  • Book online at Alaska Airlines departing from any mainland city.

  • Choose a flight to and from any D.C. airport between Oct. 9 and Oct. 23.

  • Use the discount code ECMD632 to obtain the 7% discount. *Discount code should be entered on the same screen as choosing destination and dates, not at checkout.*

There are no blackout dates during the month of October, but the booking deadline is Oct. 16. Flights must be to and from a D.C. airport in order to use the discount. This is for new reservations only. Be sure to choose fares that allow cancellations or credit.

Fly United Airlines and receive a 10% discount!

  • Book online at United Airlines Meeting Travel, call the Meetings desk at 800-426-1122, or book through your travel agency.

  • Choose a flight to and from any D.C. airport between Oct. 13-20th.

  • Use these codes: Z Code: ZK3B and Agreement Code: 822354. If booking online, use the code ZK3B822354. *To enter the discount code, click “Advanced search” when choosing destination and dates. Discount code goes under the “promotion code” section.*

Please let us know if you book with either code. Both airlines will give us a free flight for staff if 40 people use it!

Official Event Hotel, 1/2 mile from the exhibit site:

Holiday Inn Washington Capitol – National Mall, 550 C Street SW

We have secured group rates of $149 (1K/2Q) & $249 (suite)/night, plus 14.95% tax.

This rate is for dates between October 11 and 20, 2021

Cancellable with 72 hours advance notice.

Call 877-834-3613 using Group Code: GH4 or book online.

Booking deadline: September 24, 2021 (or earlier, depending on room availability)

Also very close:

Hilton Washington, D.C. National Mall, 480 L’Enfant Plaza SW (202) 484-1000

Hotel Harrington, corner of 11th St NW & E Street NW (800) 424-8532

For more options, stay further out and take Metro to the site. The nearest Metro stop is Smithsonian Station (blue, orange and silver lines), 1/7 mile from the exhibit.

Contact us at info@soulboxproject.org if you have any questions!

As you can imagine, organizing as many as 400 volunteers takes a lot of planning. We expect concerned individuals like you to join us from the local D.C. Metro area and across the country. armband to honor gun violence victim in National Mall exhibit of Soul BoxesArmbands will be available to participants wanting to honor a loved one with a photo or carry a special message.

SIGN UP NOW. You must be able to walk approx. 1/4 mile while carrying a 6 pound bag of Soul Boxes. Wheelchairs and walkers welcome. If you can, please join us for BOTH processions!  ( Sign up for other volunteer tasks

Not quite ready? Let us know if you want more information so we can include you in our updates.

There’s enough shouting – especially around gun issues. We believe the spectacle of hundreds of people respectfully carrying tens of thousands of Soul Boxes in thoughtful silence aligns with our mission. The Soul Box Project is about the victims. We are revealing the number of lives torn apart by gunfire. It is up to visitors to take actions that align with their beliefs. Ways to take action will be offered at the exhibit site.

When we carry the Soul Boxes in procession, it is always a solemn, respectful event. Carrying a clear bag displaying 250 Soul Boxes, walking silently to a funereal drumbeat and physically bearing the burden of death and injury to victims, is much more than performance art—it is an incredibly emotional experience for the hundreds of people participating. We insist that volunteers handle the bags with reverence. See an example of our 2019 procession at the Oregon State Capitol.

We’re planning to have at least 160,000 Soul Boxes in our procession. That means we need containers to be carried by about 600 people. We have found in previous processions that clear, waterproof bags not only reveal the Soul Boxes inside, but protect them from inclement weather.

Keep in mind, the bags holding mostly unadorned Soul Boxes represent the unknown victims. These are people who have died by suicide and those injured by gunfire. We feel it’s important that they are counted in this epidemic. Even though their names are not in the news, they are the vast majority of victims. Soul Boxes with names and powerful visuals will be displayed on panels under the exhibit canopy so visitors can see each one up close.

For maximum impact we want to display 200,000 Soul Boxes on the National Mall, representing the people killed or injured by gunfire in less than three years.* Thanks to Box-makers all over the country, we have met that goal.

The last day to drop off Soul Boxes in Portland was August 26. All mailed Boxes must now go directly to our D.C. collection site to be included in the D.C. exhibit. Boxes must be received by September 30 at our D.C. address. If you live in the D.C. area ask us about local delivery. Information about shipping and drop-off.

We will be exhibiting between Seventh Street and Fourteenth Street, in front of the Smithsonian Castle.

Over 36,000 Soul Boxes hung on vertical panels will be displayed under a 200-foot open canopy spanning the width of the Mall. The bags of unadorned Soul Boxes will line the walkways surrounding the canopy.

Yes! Whether you are in the Portland, Oregon, area or planning to participate in D.C., we need your help!

Tell us if you hope to participate in D.C.; we’ll keep you informed.

  • Contact us if you can help us gather Soul Boxes in bags for the procession. This is happening in the D.C. area and Portland in September.
  • SIGN UP for volunteer tasks if you know you will be in D.C. between October 13 and October 18. (SIGN UP for processions)
  • Donate toward the cost of transporting and installing 200,000 Soul Boxes on the National Mall.

In the weeks leading up to the event, we will be adding information as we get it. If you have a question, please contact us. In the meantime, check back here periodically, follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter for all the latest information.

The estimated cost for this event is close to $125,000. You can donate to The Soul Box Project to ensure it happens. If you know of grant opportunities please tell us! A meaningful way to support the exhibit is to become a Sustaining Donor. Small or large, we need and appreciate your financial contributions.

Even though we’ve been bringing The Soul Box Project to communities since October 2017, our event in Washington, D.C., will mark the beginning of a new phase for The Project. After the National Mall event, the Soul Box panels will be available for exhibits in public spaces around the country. Or maybe you’d like to host a Soul Box event and display or march with your locally-made Boxes. Follow our social media @soulboxproject and join our newsletter for more information.

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