NAACP Fundraiser Honors Black Leaders, Activists

DULUTH, Minn.- Throughout the years, many Iconic Figures have progressed the Civil Rights movement, and Sunday, images honoring some of those people lined the walls of the Zeitgeist arts building in Duluth, as part of a fundraiser for the local NAACP chapter.

UMD graphic design students created all of the art on the wall, and each one features a black activist and each of the designs were inspired by a black designer.

The images were sold at a silent auction, with half of the proceeds going to the NAACP.

“To be able to give something to the NAACP in a way that I can contribute and use my art to do something like that is nice,” said Rachel Koch, a Graphic Design Student at UMD.

Terresa Hardaway, Associate Professor of Graphic design at UMD believes teaching students to design for social change is crucial. And this project was a great way to teach them how to do just that.

“Graphic design industry, 90 percent white. So when you get racist advertisements or racist commercials, it’s because people who are designing that and creating that are white, and they’re not  open to other cultures, so what I want to teach my students is to make sure they understand what it means to be a designer for the people,” said Hardaway.

NAACP members also read black slave narratives in the theatre as part of the event.

“We really want to have a footprint in Duluth and let people know the African American culture is in American culture as well,” said Stephan Witherspoon the president of the NAACP Duluth Chapter.

The purpose of the fundraiser wasn’t just to raise money.  Witherspoon says a major goal for the event was to bring the community together, and educate the public about Black history, that is often left out of history classes.

“African American history is American history,” said Witherspoon.

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