Stand for Unity BLM mural
Stand for Unity BLM mural.

Today Joe McCain starts his stand for unity.

The North Side activist begins an eight-day stint at the Black Lives Matter mural in Pittsburgh, below the Ft. Duquesne Bridge along the riverfront trail, for 10 hours each day.

“We have ourselves stuck in a cycle where we develop momentum for change after a tragedy, then it fizzles and we won’t see momentum again until the next tragedy,” says McCain. “We are at a point where it is critical to build unity among us so that we can chart a new path forward in our community and nation.”

He invites everyone to “Stand for Unity. Stand for All” at the BLM mural site or the Korean War Memorial directly across the river or wherever they may be.

Starting at 8 a.m. each day, the community activist, who is Black, will stand at the BLM mural for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time a police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck.

At noon, he will stand at the site for 9 minutes and 11 seconds to represent the military, essential workers and first responders.

At 3 p.m., he will stand for gender equality and the LGBTQ community.

And at 5:30 p.m., he will stand for everyone and end the day in a prayer of unity.

“I am standing in solidarity because we must start the conversations and to better understand each other and what makes us different. Then, we need to recognize we are all equal and unite to move our community and nation forward towards reconciliation and healing,” says McCain. “I am inviting anyone who wants to be a part of the solution to stand with me.”

McCain has spent more than 25 years collecting donations and delivering gloves, socks and hats to those in need. He is best known for feeding thousands of families with his Basket of Love food drive. He recently stood for Breast Cancer Awareness in the Strip District.

NEXT staff

The staff at NEXTpittsburgh writes about the people driving change in the region and the innovative and cool things happening here.