2017 is in a constant game of morality tug of war. Every day, we turn on our TVs and check our smart phones with news of love just to be followed up with news of hate. In a day and age of acceptance unlike any we have experienced before, there are still those dark moments when we are faced with the reality of how far we still have to come. Toks Ayodele and her husband, Ayotunde, experienced that darkness first-hand Friday morning when they woke up to an act of hate unlike anything they had ever experienced in their 18 years of residency in Charlotte.
Toks and Ayotunde Ayodele are a Nigerian couple living in the Orchid Hill neighborhood of South Charlotte. Friday morning they awoke to find themselves victims of a hate crime. Sprawled across their driveway, in all capital letters, lied spray painted graffiti. “Trump! Get out N------.”
Although legal action was taken, neighbor Jennifer Hall decided to take her own form of action by gathering the community and spreading love where hate had so boldly tried to intervene. Neighbors of all ages came out to decorate the Ayodele’s community with messages of kindness and compassion in beautiful rainbow chalk. Where such a cold message once lied was now the idea of “#CLTspreadlove.” The response that ensued following these events was one of unity at its finest. “CLTspreadlove” was being posted throughout various social media platforms, as well as making the local news.
Every day, Queen City Unity is striving to find a new way to help diversify Charlotte and spread our mission of equality by bringing everyone together for the common goal of acceptance and unity as a city. We believe that this hashtag can transform into a movement through what started in a small Southern Charlotte neighborhood. #CLTspreadlove has the potential to reach so many other eyes and hearts through what is now The Queen City Unity Chalk Challenge.
The Queen City Unity Chalk Challenge invites all to join in with the movement of responding to hate with something much stronger, love. All you need to do is grab some sidewalk chalk, draw a message or picture representing LOVE and UNITY on any street or sidewalk in Charlotte, take a picture, and post it on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags #queencityunity and #CLTspreadlove! Queen City Unity is passionate about this movement and our many Unity Ambassadors are working hard to share everyone’s posts so make sure to tag us @queen_city_unity.
Let’s paint every street with love and unity and show everyone that Charlotte accepts you for you, no matter what. Let’s win this tug of war. #CLTspreadlove