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EXCLUSIVE: Activists Alicia Garza and Chelsea Miller discuss The Pedestal Project’s innovative AR technology to honor contemporary Black figures.

As Black History Month comes to a close the conversation this year, as in recent years, revolved around how to bring the discussion into the future, well past Feb. 28. Color Of Change, the nation’s largest online racial justice organization, found a way to do just that with the launch of an augmented reality (AR) experience on Instagram that lets you place statues of racial justice leaders atop empty pedestals where confederate statues once stood.

Screenshot of The Pedestal Project’s augmented reality statue of Civil Rights icon Rep. John Lewis. (Photo: The Pedestal Project)

Read More: Oversimplifying Black history: What schools do wrong

How’s that for a 2021 spin on Black history?

The initiative is called The Pedestal Project and launched earlier this month with three incredible racial justice leaders to honor and virtually place on the empty pedestals where the likes of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson once stood: John Lewis, Civil Rights leader and former United States Congressman, Alicia Garza, Co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement and principal at Black Futures Lab, and Chelsea Miller, Co-founder of Freedom March NYC.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., participates in a ceremony to unveil two plaques recognizing the contributions of enslaved African Americans in the construction of the United States Capitol on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

It’s super easy too, for anyone suffering from TikTok-related PTSD. The Pedestal Project Instagram Lens is activated via a mobile device on the Color of Change Instagram page and encourages folks to go outside, safely, within their own communities to find empty pedestals where confederate symbols once stood. After accessing the lens, you’ll be able to select from a gallery of statues, place it atop an empty pedestal, and in the activists’ own voice, hear why change is worth fighting for.

Don’t forget to snap a picture or a video of your experience and share by tagging @ColorOfChange.

theGrio had the opportunity to chat with two of the campaign’s stars — Garza and Miller — who gave more insight on the project that’s here to stay and how their respective orgs continue to fight racism amidst a global health crisis.




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