A GoFundMe campaign for a display of unity quickly received donations. The initiative, by the Lekhi family of Summerland, began days after their home had been targeted by vandalism and racist graffiti. Discussions are now taking place to determine where an art piece promoting unity will be located. (GoFundMe.com)

A GoFundMe campaign for a display of unity quickly received donations. The initiative, by the Lekhi family of Summerland, began days after their home had been targeted by vandalism and racist graffiti. Discussions are now taking place to determine where an art piece promoting unity will be located. (GoFundMe.com)

Artwork in Summerland to show message of inclusivity

Initiative began following vandalism of Indo-Canadian family’s home in July

An art project, promoting a message of unity, will be created in Summerland, although the location has not yet been determined.

Abhishek Lekhi, a promoter of the art project, said discussions are taking place with the Okanagan Skaha School District to determine the best location for the artwork.

The idea for the art project began in July 2020, after the home of Lekhi’s parents was vandalized. Racist graffiti had been spray-painted on the walls of the Indo-Canadian family’s home at that time.

READ ALSO: Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Summerland home

READ ALSO: Racist act sparks Summerland family to raise funds for unity display

Following the news of the vandalism, many in the community asked how they could show their support. The idea of a mural with a unity theme came about as a result.

“Our family, along with the support of the District of Summerland, would like to raise funds to create a mural, a large sign or another eternal symbol that can be placed in our community. This symbol is a sign of unity, a celebration of diversity and a reflection of the positivity that resonates in Summerland,” Lekhi said at the time.

A GoFundMe.com campaign, started at the time, has raised nearly $19,000, far surpassing the goal fo $10,000 for the project.

In addition, shortly after the vandalism occurred, hundreds of Summerland residents drove by the family’s home in a show of support for the Lekhi family.

As discussions about the location of the artwork are continuing, Lekhi says an education component is just as important as the artwork itself.

“Education is what drives it and changes the mind,” he said.

READ ALSO: VIDEO: Parade held to show support for Summerland family targeted by racism

He added that the artwork, once in place will present a message of Summerland as an inclusive, caring community. For this reason, he wants the art to be displayed in an outdoor, visible location.

The timeline for the completion of the artwork has not yet been finalized.

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