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Raising Black, trans and queer visibility in Milwaukee

There's power in a symbol. It can unite people, build a connection and convey a message that you're not alone. If you look around Milwaukee neighborhoods, hundreds of individuals have hung up window decals and yard signs as a way to show their beliefs. That’s what Paul Quick, creator of folxflag, intended when creating a print that raises Black, transgender and queer visibility around Milwaukee.

"It's a tool for advocacy and what I wanted to do was try and create something that would help," said Quick. "I just wanted to help."

It all started when Milwaukee Pride marched in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Quick completed his sign in preparation for that march and intended to create a symbol to signal intersectionality. He credits his inspiration after hearing musical artist Keedron Bryant sing his song “I Just Wanna Live” for the first time and that chilling compelling performance shook him to his core. 

"I was very moved by the activism that I was seeing and have always found social justice issues to be very important," said Quick. "I saw an opportunity to do something greater in kind of a moment."

"I was weeping just weeping, asking myself, 'What more can we do?,'" said Quick, after watching Bryant's video. "How can I help? Because this is horrific."

Folxflag prints and decals that have been seen around Milwaukee in places such as C-viche and The Backyard. The project also has a tied partnership with nonprofit Diverse & Resilient, using the sign to point back to community responses. Quick said the main goal is for folks to feel a sense of belonging.

"I want to show that I care and make that available to our community because I want to create a world where a young Black man can look around and see people actively shaping the future that he can be safe, celebrated and valued," said Quick.

Audio Storyteller | Radio Milwaukee