[from Newsletter of June 6, 2020]

A Visual Representation

By Leslie Lee

The Soul Box Project is designed to be a wake-up call – a visual representation of our nation’s never-ending gunfire epidemic where:

–Black Americans are ten times more likely than white Americans to die in a gun homicide.

–Guns take the lives of 14 times more black children and teens than those who are white.

–Unarmed black civilians are nearly five times more likely to be shot and killed by police than unarmed white civilians.*

Statistical Evidence of the Inequities in our Nation

These numbers make us heavy with grief and cause us to search our hearts for ways we have unthinkingly contributed to systemic racism. They are statistical evidence of the inequities in our nation. Artful representation is how The Soul Box Project has chosen to show these numbers to the world – to the lawmakers, voters, community leaders, police forces and people on the street – and move them to take meaningful action.

As an organization, this is where our mission intersects with those demonstrating in the streets. We believe in, and are working for, a just and equitable future.

As people who care about deaths and injuries from gunfire, I urge you to stand in active solidarity and to lift up the brave souls fighting for justice and change. How we support this cause and each other will look different for each person, but as ARTivists we can all make Soul Boxes with messages and images that give voice to racial injustice. Additionally, as an organization, we can continue to reach out to black communities ravaged by gun violence. And, as individuals, we can educate ourselves with tools like this list of resources to help us become more actively anti-racist. Together we can work for change.

Thank you for all you have done and for all you will do.

~ Leslie Lee, Founder, The Soul Box Project

*The first two statistics are from Everytown for Gun Safety; the third from Wear Orange.