On January 16, 2023, Community Forklift introduced a vibrant mural of Martin Luther King, Jr. at our reuse warehouse. Like most of the materials that surround it, the 8′ x 12′ piece of art was donated to our nonprofit in order to be reused instead of sent to the landfill. Unlike the other materials in the warehouse that are for sale, however, this one has already found its new home: at the end of our first aisle above racks of salvaged lumber!
The mural was originally commissioned by DC’s Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District (CID) in January of 2021 to honor that year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Working with the P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute, the CID worked with three local artists to install the mural at the intersections of 5th & K Streets NW in Washington, DC. Entitled “Voices For Change: Representation, Progress & Healing,” the mural celebrates community, arts, and education, and aims to rally Americans to work toward peaceful, positive change.
“Because MLK reminds us that ‘it really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated,’ we find it fitting that the large scale, public mural that MVT CID commissioned to honor the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on this exact day two years ago is now prominently displayed at Community Forklift in support of its invaluable mission to distribute reused furniture, supplies and appliances to local nonprofits and neighbors in need at low and no cost,” said Mount Vernon Triangle CID President Kenyattah Robinson.
This section that is now on display at Community Forklift was created by artist Levi Robinson. Levi uses mixed media in his artwork to “encourage the viewer to reimagine the way they consider language, theatre, music, art, and culture.” His work is represented in several galleries in the DC area and he has also developed a mural practice through his work with the P.A.I.N.T.S. Institute.
“In alignment with Community Forklift’s mission, all of the commemorative murals created by artists Shawn Perkins, Levi Robinson & Dez Zambrano … were donated to local development, faith-based, and charitable organizations for display across the DC area.”Kenyattah Robinson, Mount Vernon Triangle CID President
So where are the other pieces of the original mural?
“In alignment with Community Forklift’s mission, all of the commemorative murals created by artists Shawn Perkins, Levi Robinson & Dez Zambrano … were donated to local development, faith-based, and charitable organizations for display across the DC area,” Kenyattah said. “This ensures – like Dr. King’s very own message – that the hope, spirit, and interrelatedness behind this celebration of community, arts, and education that aimed to unite and rally all Americans to work toward peaceful, positive change lives on for years to come.”
Thank you to everyone involved in bringing this mural to the reuse warehouse, including the Mount Vernon Triangle CID, artist Levi Robinson, and Community Forklift’s hard-working Donations and Warehouse teams.
Every time you donate or shop at Community Forklift, you’re helping us lift up local communities through reuse. We turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.