Salina activist strives for 'Know Justice, Know Peace' plaza for city youth

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 10:38 PM CDT
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A Salina mother is joining forces with other community activists to continue the Black Lives Matter momentum and create a safe space for kids and families around the city to grow and connect with each other.

Community organizer Miranda Bachman has organized multiple gatherings in Salina supporting the Black Lives Matter movement but now she has bigger plans.

“My first proposal was just the idea that we want to create some kind of ‘Know Justice, Know Peace’ plaza,” said Bachman.

Local artist Priti Gulati- Cox said the effort aims to seize on the now-global movement.

Bachman contacted Cox about painting a mural at her plaza location. But only having one meeting with the city about this idea; the director of Salina Parks and Recreation, Chirs Cotten, said it’s still just an idea.

“I don’t think there’s actually a location that’s been determined. Nothing has gone to the parks and recreation board, and nothing has gone to the city commission so there isn’t anything definite as far as a location goes,” said Cotton. “But we’re still open to listening and figuring out exactly what she envisions for this.”

Bachman originally wanted to place the ‘Know Justice, Know Peace’ plaza at the Oakdale/Carver pool which was segregated in the 1900’s. But she says the Carver Center has a lot of historical significance as well.

“I did want to do something there and that’s just kind of a lot of logistics so we’ve decided to move onto the Carver Center,” said Bachman.

“We decided to actually focus more on the local history, local black and brown history of Salina,” Cox added. “Take little moments that have happened in Salina.”

A small amphitheater and an extended playground are also in Bachman’s plans for the plaza. But in order to do that, she needs to request location approval from the city and most importantly funding because construction won’t happen without it.