MADISON, Wis. — Last summer, after the death of George Floyd, artists in our community started painting murals along State Street that captured the moment, mood and emotion behind the Black Lives Matter movement. The boarded up store fronts were transformed into works of art. American Family Insurance, which has been a pioneer in setting an example of corporate businesses taking a stand on racial and social justice, asked how they could be involved.

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Rev. Everett Mitchell said they could help preserve the art along State Street.

Nyra Jordan, the social impact investment director with American Family Insurance Institute said she was honored that she could be a part of telling the story of extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. Jordan said the company decided to preserve the art by creating a book, accessible to all members of the community.

“This issue is so heavy and so complex. There are individuals that have so many feelings and emotions from anger to frustration to hope and love. The key is we need to come together and talk about it. So we’re hoping this book is a catalyst to bring all stakeholders together to have the conversations on how we can come together as a community, how do we start to heal the wounds and how do we start to have discussions around a topic that means so much to so many different people in so many different ways?” Jordan said.

American Family Insurance reached out to local artists and photographers to help create the book, Let’s Talk About It.

“This is a topic that touches me personally as a Black woman in this community and raising a Black son,” Jordan said. “So all of this is very meaningful and all very personal because so many of us have dealt with discrimination and racial inequity in so many ways.”

One of the featured photographers, Amadou Kromah, said he was honored to be a part of a cause that would help preserve such a critical moment in Madison’s history.