Art and politics meet at Seattle's Franklin High School

At Mount Baker’s Franklin High School, resistance goes hand in hand with artistry. The Arts of Resistance & Resilience art club, founded by teacher Lauren Holloway right after the 2017 presidential inauguration, educates students on how art contributes to social movements, from providing commentary on societal problems to spreading a message.

After wetting their feet with buttons, posters and T-shirts, students tackled a more ambitious project: a 40-foot-long mural honoring the 50th anniversary of the Seattle Chapter of the Black Panther Party.

The club invited the participation and collaboration of Seattle Panthers, including co-founders Elmer and Aaron Dixon, who responded enthusiastically. Over the course of the year, students learned about the history of the civil rights movement and the legacy of the Black Panther Party from the very people who lived it. In the process, they found a connection: Many Seattle Panthers were just high schoolers themselves when they joined the party.

For these young activists just finding their voices, the mural proudly displayed in front of their school now serves as an ever-present reminder that youth, too, can create change.

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About the Authors & Contributors

Jen Dev

Jen Dev

Jen Dev is formerly a video producer at Crosscut and KCTS 9, where she focused on race and immigration issues.