Black Lives Matter Street Mural, Providence, RI



Abenda Sohn, Ayeel Schofield, Sarah Samways, Vessna Scheff, k. funmilayo aileru, Rodney Davis, and Nafis M. White


Black Lives Matter Street Mural, Providence, RI


41.825273, -71.411662


"Black Lives Matter" is painted in pastel yellow, pink, and purple on the pavement.

Local artists and community members have worked together over the past year to co-design and install the new original mural. The street mural features design work by Abenda Sohn, Ayeel Schofield, Sarah Samways, Vessna Scheff, k. funmilayo aileru, Rodney Davis and Nafis M. White, is located on Washington Street, adjacent to Burnside Park.


In June of 2021, a Black Lives Matter mural was painted on the streets of Rhode Island. The mural which states “All Black Lives Matter” is located on Washington Street near Kennedy Plaza in Providence, RI. The location of Providence is significant because of the BLM protests which drew over 10,000 people the year prior. The base coat for the block letters was painted white, and then the artists added pink, purple, and yellow colors to the mural. This mural is only temporary and will likely only stay up for two years. All articles written about the lifespan of the mural are from 2021. As of May 2023, the mural is faded but still visible. 

Rodney Davis is a co-facilitator of the “All Black Lives Matter” mural, along with Funmi Aileru, and he also worked with several local artists on this project. Davis explained that the reason for this mural was because “there is a need to address the issues that are affecting black and brown lives here in our city, in our state, and in our country…So, this is an opportunity to invite this conversation” (Dumont, 2021). This mural, which is estimated to cost $10,000, was approved by the city and received funding from the Rhode Island School of Design and the non-profit College Unbound (Dumont, 2021). The mural had been in the works for over a year but had to be delayed due to a paint shortage. Rodney Davis worked with Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza for this event and used the mural as an official launch for the PVDFest, which is a city-run art festival. The mayor hopes the mural will bring up conversations about racial injustice. The ribbon-cutting ceremony and unveiling of the street mural was done on the weekend of Juneteenth.  

Although this project was mostly well received, there was also some backlash from the Black Lives Matter Rhode Island organization. The organization wasn’t made aware of this mural, and they weren’t asked to be a part of this project. Mark Fischer, a member of the organization, called it a “slap in the face” (Dumont, 2021). Brother Gary Dantzler said this was all a miscommunication. “I feel honored that everyone is acknowledging the movement I started in Rhode Island, I feel good, it’s a miscommunication, we are going to get past that and work forward,” stated Dantzler (Doiron & LoSciuto, 2021). Rodney Davis responded and said “We didn’t do this because we’re angry. We are angry, but we didn’t create that with that energy. We used joy and love to be able to say that this is something that we want to be able to share and convey to our communities” (Dumont, 2021).  


Doiron, S., & LoSciuto, S. (2021, June 4). Black lives matter mural being painted outside Kennedy Plaza. Retrieved March 16, 2023, from  

Dumont, T. (2021, June 5). Artists add color to 'all black lives matter' street mural in downtown Providence. WJAR. Retrieved March 16, 2023, from  

Gomersall, J. (2021, June 6). Black lives matter street mural installed in Kennedy Plaza. Retrieved March 16, 2023, from  

Researched by Maya Carson

Image URL

News Coverage by WPRI, WJAR 10, and WPRI

Tweet by Courtney Carter on June 05, 2021


Artists: Abenda Sohn, Ayeel Schofield, Sarah Samways, Vessna Scheff, k. funmilayo aileru, Rodney Davis, and Nafis M. White

Photographer: LUMINOUS


Urban Art Mapping Research Project






Spatial Coverage

Located on Washington Street in front of Burnside Park in Kennedy Plaza, between Dorrance and Exchange

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