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Interactive art installation coming soon at CUCC

The CUCC Youth Group gathered on the church grounds last Sunday to help bring to life a dream of CUCC high school graduate, Zenna Bryan. Zenna wanted our church to respond after Raleigh’s powerful demonstration on May 31 opposing systemic racism and police violence. The demonstration grew out of a response to the killing of George Floyd, a black man, who was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer. Zenna is passionate about racial justice and has always been sensitive to the pain that racism causes.

So along with her friend and former art teacher, Jamie, Zenna designed a large sign for our church grounds. Then we recruited help from generous church members, Paul Kiel, Jackson Kiel, and Tim Jensen, who engineered and constructed the signs. And finally, the signs were painted by several of our youth: Adam, Anna, Gabby, Jake, Kayla, Mason, Maya, Sophie, and Zenna. The signs consist of four large black panels. Two with bold neon words and two blank chalkboards for the community to add their own messages for justice. Zenna has always advocated listening to black and brown voices, and she polled her diverse friend group to determine what messages would be best to convey. One panel reads “No Justice, No Peace” and one reads “Silence Is Violence.” Watch for the signs; Jackson, Paul, and Tim will install them soon on our grounds near the Dixie Trail entrance. And please make a plan to visit them and add your own bold message for racial justice.

Thank you, Paul, Jackson, and Tim for your hard work and creativity! And thank you, Zenna for your leadership, passion, courage, and determination through the years: from the poem you wrote and shared at our poetry slam years ago, to your insistence that we focus our 2019 Youth-Led Worship on racial justice, to this idea for us to create an unmistakable message of solidarity. We trust you’ll continue to lead the way! And finally thank you to our amazing youth group for painting our beautiful, powerful signs! Thanks for working in the hot sun, with masks, with safe social distancing, and mostly with enthusiasm and heart.

-Santi Matthews, Youth and Adult Education Coordinator,