Families and community members are invited to join the Vashon in Solidarity Alliance (ViSA) and the Vashon Remembrance Project for the second annual Chalk the Block event, taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 30, in Vashon’s town core.
The event will be staged at the Village Green, where organizers and volunteers will be on hand to direct chalk artists and describe the activities going on.
Started in the summer of 2020 to encourage kids and families to commemorate lives lost and to “say their names,” this celebration aims to beautify the uptown sidewalks with chalk drawings and notes, while also educating attendees about allyship and antiracism.
“Chalk the Block is important to the community, and to all communities, as a way to get the public to understand the toll of violence against our BIPOC family and community members,” says co-organizer, Chris Boscia, who is also one of the founders of the Vashon in Solidarity Alliance. “When people say their names, or draw their names in this case, these individuals become more than just a name on a list. They are remembered and mourned and celebrated. And that’s what this is, a colorful celebration of their lives, as well as an acknowledgment of the toll of police violence.”
The first event, held last year on a drizzly Saturday morning, was a success despite the weather, with several island families coming together to draw on the pavement. This year’s event shows a favorable sunny forecast and is also taking place on a Friday evening to encourage attendance.
Organizers emphasize that while Chalk the Block is a kid-friendly event, it’s not only for kids, and everyone can drop in and participate. Chalk will be provided to anyone who needs it, or participants can bring their own.