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Goshen Black Lives Matter mural proposal shot down

GOSHEN, Ind. - A Goshen activist’s proposal for a Black Lives Matter mural on Main Street in downtown was shot down by the Board of Public Works Monday.

The mural would’ve had big letters reading Black Lives Matter written on Main Street and by Washington Street in Goshen.

But the mayor and the board voted against it.

“My purpose for this is to unite a community that stands together,” Abraham Medellin, the activist behind it all said.

After Goshen held a protest in response to George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Medellin and other activists decided to seek more change locally.

This time it’s a message displayed in the middle of downtown.

“Each letter is dedicated to a part of the community, the LGBTQ plus, the healthcare workers you have entrepreneurs in the community. People who have a voice here. The black and the matter would be for the allies while the lives would be for the people of color in Goshen,” he said.

In a Board of Public Works meeting, both sides presented their case.

“Isn’t my life worth something? Isn’t my experience valid,” Peace said, one of the supporters.

“This mural is just going to be another example of the great strides Goshen has made room being a sundown town to now accepting all the people in their community.”

“I’m here to talk about all of the efforts that so many of us have put together to try and develop the historic district into something that all people feel comfortable and will come,” Dave said, one of the opponents. “I’m not against what you are trying to do. I’m just against where it is.”

Ultimately the board, including the mayor, decided to vote no to the proposal.

“We did feel the painting of Main Street with everything going on, the location and the safety issues that were brought forth by the engineering department that this was not the right path for Goshen,” Mayor Jeremy Stutsman.

The mural would’ve shut down Main Street and the board voted no for safety reasons

and the fact that if they allow Black Lives Matter murals, they might have to allow other murals as well.

Now, the board voted against the project but did approve a resolution giving the mayor control to create a contract for a mural.

“To create a contract and sign that contract with Abe if he’s willing as well as some other artists. So that we can still develop something and promote something that definitely talks about the diversity in Goshen, inclusivity that we all want Goshen to be. Do something to bring everyone together,” Stutsman said.

Stutsman said that the mural still won’t be on a street because of safety concerns, but that he’s open to using the sidewalk in front of City Hall, saying that’s a perfect place to make a statement like that.

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