Oprah Winfrey Sets Up 26 Billboards Outside Louisville, Kentucky for Breonna Taylor
After featuring Taylor on the cover of the September issue of O, The Oprah Magazine — which hits newsstands on Aug. 11 —Winfrey, 66, is also erecting dozens of billboards around Louisville, Kentucky, demanding justice for the young woman who was killed at the hands of police back in mid-March.
The billboards feature the same image of Taylor used for the Oprah-owned magazine cover and demand that the police involved in the killing of Taylor be arrested and charged. The billboards also feature a URL for the social justice organization website UntilFreedom.com and a quote from Winfrey, saying, "If you turn a blind eye to racism, you become an accomplice to it."
Until Freedom announced that the billboards are going up around the city where Taylor lived and a total of 26 billboards will be put up, one for every year of her life.
The billboard installations began on Thursday and will be completed by Monday, according to local news station WLKY.
Taylor was a young EMT who had been on the frontlines battling the coronavirus when she was killed on March 13 in her home by Louisville Metro Police.
Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were in their own apartment when police made a late-night raid executing a drug warrant. Actually looking for an individual who lived in Taylor's building but not her apartment, it was later revealed that the person had already been taken into police custody hours earlier.
Taylor was shot eight times during the incident and though one officer was fired months after, none of the officers involved have been arrested or charged. Amid the Black Lives Matter movement happening around the globe, Louisville officials have since banned the use of no-knock warrants.
Until Freedom also announced in an Instagram post on Monday that the organization plans to relocate to Louisville to "organize day and night to get justice" for Taylor.
"We are not playing games. We don’t just talk. We organize. We are ready to sacrifice time with our families, our careers to stand by what we believe in," they wrote.
Last month, Winfrey and her titular magazine revealed that she would not star on the cover for the first time in its 20-year publication, placing Taylor on the cover instead.
In her What I Know For Sure Column, Winfrey addressed the decision to honor Taylor's memory, saying, "We can't be silent. We have to use whatever megaphone we have to cry for justice. And that is why Breonna Taylor is on the cover of O magazine."
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According to a press release, the upcoming issue will examine systemic racism in a section titled Hard White Truths, which will inform white readers "when they were most acutely aware of their white privilege — and what, in the wake of thunderous calls for justice, they are doing to dismantle the status quo."
Each page will also include anti-racist actions readers can take, such as which Black-owned businesses they can support, organizations they can donate to, petitions they can sign and articles they can read.
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
- National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.