The Burbank Human Relations Council is asking community members to drop off poster board art to be displayed at an upcoming exhibition as part of “United Against Hate” week.
Anyone in Burbank can submit an art piece, which must be made on standard poster board that is no larger than 28 inches by 20 inches. Pieces are being accepted today, Nov. 28, between 9 a.m. and noon at the Geo Gallery at 1545 Victory Blvd. Contributors can schedule other drop-offs by texting or calling (818) 860-2472.
The BHRC will then display the pieces, representing the theme “Stand Together Against Hate,” from Monday, Nov. 30-Friday, Dec. 11 at Geo. Only two viewers will be allowed at a time because of restrictions related to COVID-19, but the pieces will also be viewable on the BHRC website and Facebook page.
Artists are asked to put their name and contact information on the back of posters they submit.
The exhibition, the first of its kind for the BHRC, is part of a larger initiative by Los Angeles County and many Bay Area cities that recognize “United Against Hate” week from Nov. 30-Dec. 6. The event is intended to raise awareness of hate crimes, biases and white supremacy and to encourage communities to discuss solutions.
Some cities and organizations plan to hold panel discussions and storytelling workshops, according to BHRC board member Suzanne Weerts. BHRC will hold community dialogues about diversity and equity next year.
“Promoting inclusion and equity is crucial to building healthy and robust communities,” Weerts said. “The L.A. County ‘United Against Hate’ week is designed to both raise awareness of the dangers of hate and the need for respect and civil discourse, as well as helping community members build stronger connections.”
After the exhibition ends on Dec. 11 — some days after the “United Against Hate” week concludes — artists can pick up their pieces, though they will remain on BHRC’s web pages.
Founded in 1958, the BHRC advocates for equality and was involved in the civil rights movement of the ’60s. Its “Choose Love, Be Kind” signs are frequently seen at Burbank residences and businesses.
Weerts believes that Burbank residents are concerned about racial injustice, pointing to the local protests that attracted hundreds of people this summer after George Floyd’s death. Other local organizations, such as the Burbank Public Library and the Burbank Unified School District, are also holding programs dedicated to promoting equity.
She also referenced Mayor Sharon Springer’s proclamation at a recent City Council meeting denouncing hate and prejudice. At the same meeting, council members indicated support for adopting a resolution that would officially recognize and apologize for policies in Burbank’s history that discriminated against minorities, specifically African-Americans. A draft resolution was written by BHRC members, including Weerts, and presented to the council.
“Everybody who lives in the city has their own history, their own story, their own identity,” Weerts said, “and BHRC has long encouraged people to celebrate [Burbank’s] diverse background so that we have a more meaningful experience and deeper relationships with all of our residents.”