DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) — The parents of one of the students who died in the Parkland school shooting created a mural in downtown L.A. Saturday as part of a series that will be done across the country.
The mural at the Standard Hotel is the third of 17 that will be done. The graphic piece of activism shows the silhouettes of students with a shooting range target around them.
Manuel Oliver, father of slain student Joaquin Oliver, created the mural as a way to change the conversation about gun violence.
“I think the whole message is to create some common sense in terms of who should and who shouldn’t carry a gun,” he said.
Joaquin, whose silhouette is the middle target in the mural, died during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida on Feb. 14.
His heartbroken father turned to art to bare his soul and give his son a voice.
“I think it’s a process of connection with Joaquin…Joaquin was not only my son, but my best friend,” Manuel Oliver said.
He and his wife Patricia created the nonprofit Change the Ref Project, which focuses on empowering future leaders and giving the youth the tools they need to be in power to make change happen.
The couple said their son would be proud of their efforts because he loved activism.
The Olivers encourage the public to write their names or their own messages of empowerment on the mural, which will remain at the Standard until April 15.