lemonade for letters stand

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Organize a letter writing protest for the issue of your choice in this take on the traditional lemonade stand. This score was originally done by artist Aisha Cousins to protest the Trayvon Martin verdict, but you can use it to get people in your neighborhood to write letters about anything important to you.

Supplies:

  • lemonade
  • cupcakes or other baked goods
  • cups
  • napkins
  • writing paper
  • pens and pencils
  • a table
  • a very large, bright sign with the words “Lemonade for letters” and a photo related to the Trayvon Martin case
  • chairs (optional)
  • a large envelope and a priority mail stamp

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Check the Dream Defenders website to see if they are still working to abolish Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. If they are, set up your lemonade stand and your sign in a place where people will see it and stop. When people stop to buy lemonade or cup cakes, explain you do not accept money. You only accept letters because they are more valuable to you right now. Then tell them that there is a group of students that has been camped out in the Florida Governor’s office since July 16th protesting to have the Stand Your Ground Law overturned. Explain that people can buy lemonade or cup cakes by writing letters to Florida’s governor demanding that he listen to the students. You must also explain that a handwritten personal letter makes politicians much much more uncomfortable than an email or a petition, because it demonstrates follow through. Follow through can get politicians booted out of office, so they pay more attention to people who can do it. If a person says they don’t write well, offer to write the letter if they tell you what words to use. Remember to be prepared to explain the Stand Your Ground Law and Trayvon Martin’s murder in case people do not know about it. Last, but not least, make sure each letter expresses:

  1. How the person feels about the Trayvon Martin case
  2. What they are demanding be done to fix the problem. In our case, people wanted the Florida Governor work with the Dream Defenders to:
  • pass “Trayvon’s Law
  • repeal the Stand Your Ground Law
  • confront racial profiling
  • and end the school-to-prison-pipeline

When we were done, we put all the letters in the envelope and sent them Priority Mail to:

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Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001

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If you are protesting the Trayvon Martin case, you can do this too. If you are protesting a different issue, you will need to look up your own demands and the proper mailing address.

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Black culture or history topic: Trayvon Martin, The Dream Defenders, Civil Rights protests

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Art concepts: coming soon…

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Contemporary Artists: coming soon…

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Below are a few photos and letters from the first performance of this score at Five Myles Gallery in Brooklyn, NY for Lynne Procope and Erin Gleason’s Stoop Series.

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