We have some really exciting news. Earlier today, on Moses White Boulevard in Old West Tampa, Florida, we unveiled a new mural honoring Colin Kaepernick’s courageous fight against police violence and systemic racism.
The 30’ x 90’ mural, titled “Change the Whirled,” was created by Brandan “BMike” Odums, who also designed the new Change the Whirled pint. It features portraits of Tampa youth alongside Know Your Rights Camp (KYRC) volunteers. The artwork depicts a young person wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with an image of Kaepernick raising his fist. Others on the mural are wearing shirts proclaiming “I KNOW MY RIGHTS,” a reference to KYRC, the non-profit founded by the freedom fighter and former San Francisco 49er quarterback in 2016 to empower and liberate Black and Brown people.
The Right Side of History
Kaepernick became an unsigned free agent after a season of kneeling during the Star-Spangled Banner at the start of NFL games to protest police violence and systemic oppression globally. Since then, he has become a prominent activist, working to dismantle systemic racism and white supremacy.
“As we look back, it’s clear that Colin was on the right side of history,” says Chris Miller, our Head of Global Activism. “His pre-game protests were before George Floyd’s murder, before the 2020 summer of racial reckoning. He knew a long time ago that we need to address the root causes of racism and the structures of our society that are so brutal to Black people. We wanted to be part of the effort to honor Colin’s courage and legacy because we share the same values.”
That’s a big reason why, earlier this year, we launched Colin Kaepernick’s Change the Whirled, a vegan, Non-Dairy frozen dessert. Kaepernick is donating 100% of his proceeds from the pints to KYRC.
Art Can Change the World
It was amazing to see Brandan “BMike” Odums interact with the community, work on his designs, and bring this mural to life over the past few days. He’s an activist, educator, and street artist who is also a friend of Kaepernick. His work celebrates Black history and strengthens the movement for racial justice and equity. “The blueprint to tomorrow is in our imagination,” Odums tells us. “I think, ultimately, it’s the idea of allowing people, especially young people, the agency to understand that the way things are isn’t the way they’re supposed to be.”
We funded the mural as part of our Change the Whirled collaboration with Kaepernick and KYRC.
Celebrating and Strengthening Community
The mural is part of a larger effort to support locally owned businesses and community organizations and to contribute to the vibrancy of Old West Tampa. Which brings us to some more good news: We’re inviting neighbors to a free, COVID-safe community drive-thru at the mural site at noon on Sunday, February 7. Members of the community can pick up a family meal (enough for 4-6 people), a pint of Colin Kaepernick’s Change the Whirled Non-Dairy frozen dessert, and gift certificates to a local salon and barbershop (while supplies last).
We’re partnering with KYRC to host the meal. But that’s not all… we’re also teaming up to give four Tampa community groups $5,000 each for their work in the areas of power-building, educational equity, and affordable housing.
We thank BMike, Know Your Rights Camp, Colin Kaepernick, the people of Old West Tampa, and everyone everywhere who’s working to change the world.