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Former Benton Harbor commissioner plans Black Lives Matter mural

Mural to be painted on the street outside Benton Harbor High School
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 5:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT
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BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WNDU) -A former Benton Harbor city commissioner is organizing a Black Lives Matter mural to be painted outside the Benton Harbor High School.

16 News Now tells us why the location of the mural is so important.

Black students face a much different experience in school than their white counterparts, and it's important to talk about these differences in the fight for racial equality.

This mural will be a reminder for Benton Harbor High School’s predominantly black student body that their lives matter.

"Once I was watching TV and they were doing all these Black Lives Matter murals in D.C. and everywhere else I thought it would be a great reminder of the children and youth of Benton Harbor when they're looking out that high school window, that Black lives do matter," said organizer and activist Trenton Bowens.

Black community members in Benton Harbor like former commissioner Bowens don't have the privilege of ignoring racial profiling and other subtle forms of racism, that some other people never have to think about.

Bowens aims to support Black students with a message they can see from the classroom.

"In Berrien County, Benton Harbor is one of the predominantly Black schools. We have our situations of racism here and people think that our students are rowdy. They think we're the outcasts, and I'm hoping that when they look at that it gives them pride hope and resilience," Bowens said.

Bowens is asking the community to help with the mural by providing not only resources but also participation in painting it on the southbound land of Colfax Ave. right outside the High School.

"Estimated is $1,500 that we are looking at for all of the supplies to paint materials," he said.

Bowens says you can set up a donation with him by phone by calling 269-861-2861.

You can also message him from his Facebook event called "Benton Harbor Black Lives Matter Mural"

You can also send a direct donation to him through Cash App by searching his $Cashtag: $betrenton

These discussions about racial inequality are not always easy, but the goal behind this mural is to get the conversation started and keep it going.

It’s a challenge to talk about our differences, understand our own behavior, and work toward a solution.

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