For her Bat Mitzvah project, Anne Shipley, 12, will host a fundraiser and art project dedicated to raising awareness for marriage equality.
The public art event, where guests will all contribute to a large mural, will take place from 3-5 p.m. May 18 at the upper parking lot of Mishkan Shalom Synagogue, 4101 Freeland Ave.
The mural will be made out of chalk but family will document and take photos of the mural to preserve it.
Shipley, a sixth-grader at Greene Street Friends School, said the lack of marriage equality in the state creates an unjust environment for same-sex couples.
“I think it is unfair that even if people are married, they aren’t really considered married in the state they live in. That is discriminatory,” she said. “I think it is important for all people to have the choice to get married. I decided to do a public art event because it is open to all ages and open to everybody and it is something everyone can do together.”
Shipley is suggesting donations of $18, or an amount equal to someone’s age, to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Human Rights Campaign.
Originally, Shipley was just going to name ACLU as the beneficiary, but was impressed with the work of both organizations and the progress they’ve brought about for LGBT equality.
“I learned about the HRC and it was very interesting the way people took videos and wrote essays about marriage equality. It was inspiring and interesting to read and watch,” she said.
Shipley said she hopes her art project inspires youth to take active roles in bringing about positive change.
“I think it is important because at least my generation is expecting the worst of the country when they get older and I think this economy will get worse if we don’t do something about it,” she said. “Younger people have to take a stand and if you show that teens and kids can do something, then maybe it can show someone else that they can accomplish things.”
For more information, email Shipley at email@example.com.