VOICES-Black Arts Collective Host Say Their Names: Memorial

Arts Collective highlight Syracuse lives taken by police

(Syracuse, NY) — The Black Artist Collective (BAC) will host a SAY THEIR NAMES MEMORIAL on Wednesday, October 14, 2020 from 6:00 p.m to 8:00 p.m. The event will honor and uplift the names of Black and Brown lives lost to racism, injustice, and senseless police violence in Syracuse, New York.

We will SAY THEIR NAMES, celebrate their lives, and come together in a mindset of collective consciousness for organizing, healing, and justice. The FREE outdoor event takes place on the Bethany Baptist Church grounds at 149 Beattie Street in Syracuse, NY.

Bethany Baptist Church| 149 Beattie St. | Syr. 13224
Wednesday | October 14| 6:00 – 8:00 p.m

Initially conceived by Portland-based event planner Joy Proctor, Say Their Names has since taken root across the country in cities like Atlanta, Boston, New Jersey, Portland, Seattle, and now Syracuse. The memorialization of lives taken will be guided by a community of local activists, singers, artists, and poets. Community members are invited to add the name of their loved one to a banner that will be installed at partnering venues across the city. The first location of exhibition will be Bethany Baptist Church. The banner will be on view at the Community Folk Art Center in the coming month. The BAC is actively seeking additional venue partners for the display of the Say Their Names banners. Inquiries can be directed to qianaki@gmail.com.

Black Artist Collective 

art as: advocacy. intervention. interruption

credit: Jaleel Campbell, Fallen Ones , 2019

“BAC wants to embrace our community,” said Cjala Surratt, co-founder of the Black Artist Collective.

“We intentionally selected October 14 to commemorate George Floyd’s birthday. We are making space for the ritual of remembrance, grief, intimacy, and comfort that we are due for the injustices and brutality perpetrated by police against Ahmad Arbary, Daniel Prude, Michael Greene, Trayvon Martin, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, and countless other Black Americans across our nation.”

Accountability demands an accurate record of people affected by state-sanctioned violence. “As we endeavor to build a new culture for policing in our communities, it must include a standard of accountability and transparency,” said Rannette Releford, director of Syracuse’s the Citizen Review Board (CRB), which hears complaints about police misconduct.

Be Safe: Mask Up And Social Distance — Say Their Name Memorial attendees must maintain a social distance of at least 6 feet between individuals at all times, except for groups visiting from the same household. We encourage everyone to wear face masks to safeguard the public health and as an extension of our commitment to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Adherence to Onondaga County’s latest social distancing guidelines limit attendance to 50 people. Note: Volunteers will be on site the day of the event to distribute masks to individuals who do not have face coverings to ensure compliance.


This program is made possible through the generous support of Cafe Sankofa Cooperative, CAMM Singers, Community Folk Art Center, Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company, OGs Against Violence, Black Leadership Coalition NY, Syracuse BLM, Syracuse University, and Urban Video Project. A special note of appreciation to our event hosts Bethany Baptist Church.

About Black Artist Collective

The Black Artist Collective are here to work beside you and support each other as we share, inspire, grieve, and act together. We are committed to organizing through our various artistic practices to support grassroots power building so that Black and Brown communities can live, thrive, and create.