Funds Needed for Poster Asking Us to See, Not Watch, Our Neighbors

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see-my-neighbors-not-watch-poster-Micah-Bazant-Reach-and-Teach-Indiegogo-crowdraising“I don’t watch my neighbors. I see them.”

So starts a poster recently created by San Francisco Bay Area artist Micah Bazant, to promote seeing our neighbors with compassion, rather than suspicion. The team at Reach and Teach in San Mateo, and Bazant, are partnering to promote the poster on Indiegogo, a crowdsourcing platform for raising money and awareness for charitable causes.

Reach and Teach is seeking $2,000 to fund the first print run of posters, to be sold for $10 each. A portion of the sales will go to Bazant, and another portion will go to the Oakland organization, Justice for Families, which originally commissioned the poster. Fundraising started Aug. 14, and ends Sept. 20. The project had raised more than $1,100 as of Sept. 11.

Prominently featured on the colorful poster is an African American young man on a bike, wearing an orange hoodie. Since the death of Trayvon Martin at the hands of George Zimmerman in Florida in 2012, and a widely circulated photo of Martin in a hoodie, it’s hard not to make the connection between the poster’s image and Martin. Zimmerman was acquitted by a jury on July 13, 2013.

This summer Justice for Families organized the Night Out for Safety and Democracy, held on the same night as the National Night Out, Aug. 6. Organizers said that while the long-running National Night Out stresses crime prevention and suspicion of others, Night Out for Safety and Democracy took a more holistic and compassionate approach, promoting community building.

To help make the poster a reality, go to indiegogo.com/projects/see-your-neighbors-poster-project.