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Coming Together To Make A Change

CSU Senior Asha McClendon Designs Black Lives Matter Mural at Centers for Families and Children 

Asha McClendon, a CSU senior pursuing a degree in Graphic Design, recently designed a mural dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement in conjunction with the Centers for Families and Children. The message behind the mural is based on the idea of people coming together to make a change. 

“When designing for this project my objective was to capture how we as a people and society are one, that the lives of Black and other people of color are no more or less important than non-people of color, and that acknowledgement, togetherness and justice bring change,” McClendon shared. 

The Centers for Families and Children invests in individual and family physical and mental health, early education and workforce development needs, assisting those who are underprivileged or have limited access to resources. The Centers reached out to CSU professors via Brokaw, an independent design agency based in Cleveland, with the idea of a student-designed mural for the Black Lives Matter movement, specifically using a student that is a person of color. 

“As a Black American, person, and woman, the BLM movement affects me personally, as I and many other people of color have to navigate this life with this skin color and having it be a deciding factor on whether I walk these streets safely is an injustice,” explained McClendon. 

McClendon had a lot of freedom to create her design and worked to make sure a strong message was brought across with a personal touch. She first sketched out several ideas for the mural by hand, such as an illustration of a diverse protest. She then transferred them to Adobe and Creative Cloud Illustrator to complete the drafts before submitting to the Centers for Families and Children. 

“I don’t voice my opinions too often, but I felt very strongly this particular time,” McClendon said. “I wanted the mural to represent people coming together to help change the world. I wanted it to be inclusive and show the diverse groups of people in the movement.” 

The design The Center for Families and Children chose: the image of diverse hands holding each other. McClendon’s mural was made into a window cling that now runs across the front windows of the Centers building on Euclid Avenue near East 46th Street in Cleveland. 

“The Centers stands in solidarity in the fight against inequality and oppression of all types – including systemic racism. We wanted to partner with a local designer to create a highly-visible mural at our flagship location to show our solidarity with Black Lives Matter, and we were so excited to partner with Asha! She is an incredibly talented designer and we were blown away by her final design,” said a spokesperson for The Centers. 

Asha McClendon’s mural shares the message that the movement is not just about one person, and that starting a change will help everyone transcend.

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