Design company makes Black Lives Matter yard signs for charity: 'this is a movement, not a moment'

Black Lives Matter - it is both an anthem and a call to action, as protesters in Detroit, the suburbs and cities across the country demand justice and reform and equal opportunity for people of color.

"We went to the first five days of protest in downtown Detroit and we realized that this is a movement not a moment," said Jenna Urbauer. "So we wanted to find out what's next and how we can do more."

Urbauer is the owner of Mandell Display Design which handles decor for events. But everything has been cancelled due to COVID-19, so with her business on hold - she had an idea.

They started making signs to display in their yards that read Black Lives Matter.

"We weren't really sure what the response would be. And in less than two days, we sold all 50 signs and it generated over a thousand dollars to three charities," she said.

Now Jenna and Mandell are teaming up with Signs by Tomorrow and are making hundreds more. This lifelong Detroiter says friends and neighbors and total strangers are purchasing them for $40 each with the proceeds going to the NAACP, The Detroit Justice Center and the Black Lives Matter Detroit Network.

Jenna's friend and neighbor, Reanetta James, says the signs are just a start.

"That's a beginning - that's a statement," James said. "But we need more than just a statement. We've got to continue with the cause."

A cause that has many having conversations that are long overdue.

"Why should I have to go around and post and remind people - we're human too," she said. "Why don't I just matter regardless of a sign. Why do I need a sign to let someone know my live matters?” 

"I think it's really important to recognize that the opportunity and privilege that I've been afforded is because of the color of my skin," Jenna said. "And until we all have that same opportunity, I think we all need to work harder."

Which for Jenna that means protesting and making signs and donating the proceeds to work for social justice.

Jenna knows all too well so many people are out of work due to COVID-19 and may not be able to afford a sign but she wants everyone who wants one to have one.

"I understand things are tight and we want to help you," she said. "We want a sign on every lawn in America."

Facebook: Mandell Display Design. Instagram: @Mandell_Display Email: Cash Venmo: @jenna-urbauer