The Cultural Events Board was inspired to work on this project because we felt so drawn to Elijah’s legacy, his light, his humanity and the unconditional love he gave to the world around him. Elijah was someone who always led with love, was compassionate and always worked to put a smile on those around him. When we, like much of the rest of our country, heard about his murder, we were shocked, angered and saddened. Elijah's murder was especially shocking as it happened in Colorado, and for some of our members from Aurora, it hit particularly close to home. Many of us attended protests over the summer, signed and promoted petitions and demanded accountability and justice for what had happened to Elijah.
As we embarked on this journey to create this tribute, we made sure we had the consent and blessing of Elijah's mother, Sheneen McClain, to do this project in honor of her son's life. She agreed to allow us to do it so long as we emphasized the project as a celebration of his life rather than the circumstances of his death. We created the tribute to Elijah for the purpose of promoting love and compassion in the face of hate and injustice and helping drive people to work to find common ground and build a better future.
We are sharing this video with our community in hopes that we will all challenge ourselves to continue to lead with love and resilience in the face of injustice. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “You cannot defeat darkness with darkness, only light can do that. You cannot defeat hate with hate, only love can do that.”
Furthermore, we hope to share a glimpse of Elijah McClain’s light and remind our community that these forms of injustice are not so distant from where we stand; we should all continue to advocate for racial justice and equity. In the end, we hope people will look back fondly at Elijah's legacy and the light he shared with us, and ahead to a brighter future.