In honor of Black History Month, we’re excited to carry a limited edition collection of Black History Month graphic T-shirts at 220 of our stores. For one of the shirts, we partnered with the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology (WMCAT) in Grand Rapids, Mich. to bring Elijah Brown, a WMCAT student’s, design to life.
Elijah partnered with Jasmine Bruce, an artist mentor, to design the shirt inspired by their own experiences. The shirts feature a quote from Elijah, “This isn’t just a month, it’s every day for us.”
“When we talk about Black History Month we tend to talk about the past,” shared Brown. “With this design, I wanted to recognize that what is happening in our world today is a part of our history and it should be remembered.”
“When Elijah and I first met to explore ideas, I was drawn to Maya Angelou’s poem, ‘Caged Bird’ and its themes of captivity and freedom,” shared Bruce, a freelance illustrator and visual artist. “I worked this into the concept and it became the foundation of the design. It resonated strongly with us both to honor black lives and share the importance of black history with others.”
This isn’t our first time partnering with Ambrose at WMCAT, the screen printing and graphic design arm of WMCAT with offices directly above our Bridge Street Market neighborhood store. Ambrose at WMCAT has previously printed reusable bags for Bridge Street Market, but this order was unlike like anything they’d done before.
Elijah also helped with the fulfillment end of the process, so he got to see the project through from conception to reality as the boxes were shipped out.
“We’re proud to support WMCAT with our business and to bring Elijah and Jasmine’s vision to life on our racks,” said Shawn T. Colley, Divisional Merchandising Manager of Men’s Apparel and Team Sports for Meijer. “This shirt design is clearly meaningful and we are excited to offer it to our customers as part of our Black History Month collection.”
Additionally, we’re pleased to have collaborated with our Mosaic Team Member Resource Group to review and gather feedback from Black team members on the other Black History Month shirts we are carrying as part of the collection.