The words “end racism now” will soon be boldly displayed on one of the most prominent intersections in Johnstown.
On Saturday, weather permitting, a group of volunteers, including Johnstown City Councilman Ricky Britt, a leader in the local Black community, will paint those words where Main and Franklin streets meet, right next to Central Park.
Britt said the message is intended to be one of unity.
Volunteers will be painting “end racism now” as part of the nation’s ongoing discussion about race relations that has, once again, come to the forefront following the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in the custody of Minneapolis police.
Floyd’s death has sparked demonstrations across the United States and brought increased attention to the Black Lives Matter movement.
“If we had said ‘Black Lives Matter,’ you’re going to find someone that’s going to find some negativity in that,” Britt said. “It wasn’t meant that just Black lives matter. It means all lives matter. But if anyone finds a problem with saying ‘end racism,’ well there’s a problem with them. That seems like that covers the whole thing.”
No time has been set yet for when the work will be done.
Traffic will be rerouted while the volunteers paint.
“It’s a minor impact to send a positive message for the city,” interim City Manager John Trant Jr. said. “Essentially we’ll be working to shut down the street and implement detours for a short period of time to allow for volunteers to paint the positive message on Main Street.”