In observance of March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, we are sharing Akonadi Foundation’s 2020 Racial Justice Poster, Oakland Rises (End the Criminalization of Our People), by artist Natalia Anciso.
‘I was inspired to focus my piece, Oakland Rises (End the Criminalization of Our People), on the hope and determination that youth of color bring in the face of systemic racism and criminalization.’ -Natalia Ancisco
Juxtaposing beautifully colored, watercolor-drawn indigenous flowers of Northern California against stark, monochromatic images meticulously rendered in pen, I was inspired to focus my piece, Oakland Rises (End the Criminalization of Our People) on the hope and determination that youth of color bring in the face of systemic racism and criminalization.
As a Bay Area educator, I focus much of my work on inequities in the public education system, bringing to light issues such as school push-out, elementary genocide, and the school-to-prison pipeline. Narrative change is essential in combating racial discrimination and criminalization of youth and young adults of color. Oakland Rises (End the Criminalization of Our People) aims to encourage dialogue and action around these issues to help create change.
I dedicate this piece to the youth and young adults of color in Oakland, who have been working to change up the narrative. We see you. We hear you.
Akonadi Foundation distributed our first Racial Justice poster in 2008, to commemorate March 21, the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. This day honors the Sharpeville massacre of March 21, 1960, when the South African anti aprartied movement rose up in resistance against `pass’ laws. These laws required Indigenous African’s to carry identity cards. It was on this day in the Sharpeville township, movement leaders, elders, and children, gathered in peaceful protest, police opened fire and killed 69 people, among them 10 children.
Through this poster project, we want to lift up the legacy of resistance, paying tribute to the artistic and cultural ambassadors engaged in the ongoing struggle for racial justice.
This year’s poster honors the movement to end the criminalization of young people of color. We hope that you enjoy the poster and that, through social media, you will share with us a picture of yourself or your organization with the poster, using the hashtag #RJPP20 @akonadi_oakland.