Oakland Public Library
Contact Name: Amy Sonnie, firstname.lastname@example.org
Type of Initiative: Inclusion/Tolerance
OPL collaborated with artist Micah Bazant to develop the Everyone is Welcome Here poster. Since early 2016, thousands of Everyone is Welcome Here posters have been displayed in schools, libraries, restaurants and small businesses nationwide.
The ‘Everyone is Welcome Here’ poster aimed to reinforce a culture of inclusion, religious freedom and racial equity in public spaces. The second in a series of posters by artist Micah Bazant, the image and message were inspired by Muslim women in a literacy program in Oakland, California, who shared stories of routine harassment in public. One student experienced three bias-related incidents in 2015 alone, including one on her way home from her local library. “My friends stay inside the house because they are scared,” she said. “But I always go back.” Seeing a poster like this in a public space makes her feel “good, happy, safer.”
We have seen more requests for these posters since November 2016. As a result, more than 700 color posterswere distributed to attendees at ALA Midwinter 2017.