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New downtown Cleveland billboard aims to spark conversation

New billboard aims to keep the Black Lives Matter conversation alive.

CLEVELAND — There is a relatively new billboard at Carnegie and East 22nd meant to catch your attention. It’s creator, Devin Joyce, is normally busy with her company Passion8 Event Management, managing entertainment and sporting events. 

The pandemic has slowed down business, but her company created this billboard after feeling as if the discussion around racial inequities died down.

“Just partnering one time to do a 'a show and tell type of thing’ that’s not beneficial,” says Joyce.

But signs matter. This past weekend there were protests at an Elyria restaurant over a sign that read ‘Black lives don’t matter, All lives matter’. The Dinner Bell manager, Robert Reynolds, telling 3News, it was a misunderstanding.

“All lives matter. Black lives matter, Hispanic lives matter, White lives matter, all lives matter, and unfortunately it was probably taken out of context the what I meant to say,” says Reynolds.

Joyce says her words are deliberate. The billboard is meant to highlight elements of Black lives she thinks people should be thinking about. Black business, Black culture, and Black joy.

“People can literally go on Google and understand ‘Okay, this is why Black people are saying Black Lives Matter. This is why it’s important to support Black Lives Matter’,” says Joyce.

Joyce hopes the billboard gets any person who drives or walks by the motivation to talk about it at home and at work.

“That conversations need to happen, change needs to happen. Not just Black people need to challenge the system, we need allies to challenge the system as well,” says Joyce.