Those traveling the Iowa Quad-Cities will be encouraged to stand up for human rights thanks to the messaging of some new, brightly colored billboards throughout the community.
The billboards are sponsored by One Human Family QCA, a community-based organization that promotes diversity and inclusion in the Quad Cities area. Located in various spots around Davenport and Bettendorf, the billboards will remain in place through Sunday, Nov. 6.
The signs address four different subjects: voting rights, women’s reproductive rights, human lives over gun rights, and LGBTQ+ rights.
“These are four of the nine issues addressed in our successful ‘Iowa is Better Than This!’ statewide Zoom event that was held last February,” said Rabbi Henry Karp, co-founder of One Human Family QCA. “Following our in-person and virtual gathering, we asked those who took part to submit ideas that would help us identify ways people can become involved to stand up for human rights for everyone, particularly those who are the most marginalized in our society.”
The submissions resulted in the document “9 Ways to Fight Injustice in Iowa!” with ideas ranging from: becoming educated on the issues, uniting with others to address issues of injustice to taking action and voting.
“As a way to support those ideas and remind everyone that they have a role in creating justice for all, we decided to launch a billboard campaign,” Rev. Richard Hendricks, One Human Family’s co-founder and pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of the Quad-Cities, Davenport, said in a news release. “Billboards are seen by most everyone, regardless of political affiliation. We felt it was a good way to highlight the need for more compassionate, humane and egalitarian policies for Iowa.”
Noting its “old technology,” he added billboards also can be effective. “In this age when so much communication is conducted online, with the volume of messages that appear in our computers each day, it is not surprising that an overwhelmed public makes constant use of the ‘delete’ key. Billboards are not easily deleted and are very visible to the general public.”
The group’s leaders hope the campaign will spark awareness and encourage Iowa Quad-Citians to become informed about these important issues.
“As we approach the November elections, we hope to encourage Iowans to become informed voters before they enter the voting booth,” Mr. Karp says. “ … Everyone needs to know where candidates stand on these issues. The four issues addressed on the billboards, as well as the others highlighted in our ‘Iowa is Better Than This!’ event. will remain a concern until they are appropriately addressed in a manner that is welcoming, inclusive and respectful of all residents of our state.”
Mr. Hendricks said the billboard advertising helps communicate One Human Family’s mission “to welcome and protect the life, dignity and human rights of all people in all places in our community.”
“Even if these issues might not directly affect you, they impact those you know and love — members of your family, your friends and fellow community members,” he added.
For more information on One Human Family QCA or to donate, visit OneHumanFamilyQCA.org or mail a contribution to One Human Family QCA, c/o Metropolitan Community Church, 2930 W. Locust St., Davenport, IA 52804.