‘The People’s Ribbon Cutting’ Held at Arch to Illustrate Diversity and Inclusion

By on July 9, 2018

From The St. Louis American:  “We’re here today because diversity is who we are,” said Rev. Darryl Gray.

He served as master of ceremonies for an event that was a direct response to Tuesday’s official ribbon cutting photo for the grand opening of the Gateway Arch grounds. The now infamous photo spawned the hashtag #ArchSoWhite because of the complete absence of people of color.

“We cannot and must not allow ourselves and our history and our contribution to history be erased or forgotten,” Gray said.

Groups from all ethnicities of the St. Louis region stood on the Arch grounds as a reflection of what they didn’t see in the photo in an event organized by State Rep. Bruce Franks Jr. and several others.

“This isn’t a do-over,” Gray said. “This is the first inclusive ribbon cutting.”

Representatives from the Asian, Muslim, African-American and Hispanic communities were on hand to offer remarks.

Vin Ko, representing the Asian community, quoted African-American artist and activist De Nichols, saying, “This is about affirming that the arch, the symbol for our city, is for all of us.”

St. Louis City Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones called it “the people’s ribbon cutting.”

“These renovations were bought and paid for by the people,” Jones said.

She also said that Tuesday’s photo is proof of the need for change in the St. Louis region.

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