The group brought the project before Sebastopol’s Public Arts Committee during a special meeting on July 6, and then to the Sebastopol City Council during its meeting the following day.
The council approved the creation of the mural in the town’s plaza and agreed to allocate $1,000 in city funds to cover the cost of supplies.
On the 6th of July, 2020, a group seeking to peacefully advocate against racial injustices presented a project to the Sebastopol California Public Arts committee, just nearly two months after the murder of George Floyd. They were able to present to their city council the next day for approval. The mural was approved, along with funding of $1,000 from the city for resources. The group simply consisted of people from the community, a mostly younger crowd with participants as young as high school students.
Organizers of this mural saw this as an opportunity to show the town of Sebastopol that there is a population of minorities living among the white people in the city, who make up nearly 83% of the population (Chavez). Organizers also stated that this mural was inspired by the well-known mural in Washington D.C., as well as the mural in Oakland, which were both very similar.
This group made their mural unique, by inviting people of the community of Sebastopol to add their handprint to the mural, which consisted of four different colors surrounding the main statement. Organizers made these contributions from the community a fun, party-like event. Community members attended the event, which featured music and a street dancer for entertainment (Chavez). The group was very satisfied with the participation and support from the city.
However, there was some backlash. Dezi Kai addressed this retaliation in the Press Democrat saying the argument was based on “all lives matter”. Kai later discussed how organizers did a great job simply not telling retaliators that they were wrong, but instead listened to their opinions and offered an educated, peaceful discussion on the matter. Kai added, “We’re also about uplifting everybody’s life, but right now we need to focus on people that have been oppressed for so long and haven’t been seen in our country” (Kai from Chavez).
According to Google Maps, the mural has faded since its initial creation.
“Black Lives Matter Street Mural, Sebastopol, CA.” George Floyd & Anti-Racist Street
Chavez, Nashelly. “Sebastopol Debuts Black Lives Matter Mural.” Santa Rosa Press
Democrat, The Press Democrat, 25 July 2020,
Mencher, Written by Steve. “Sebastopol Celebrates Black Lives Matter in Art - Photos.”
Northern California Public Media,
https://norcalpublicmedia.org/2020073048239/news-feed/sebastopol-celebrates-black-lives-matter-in-art-photos.Researched by the Urban Art Mapping Team
News Coverage by Sonoma Magazine