Ryan N Wilson | 2020-08-06


You don’t have to obsessively follow the news to know the world is reeling. Covid-19 has killed 160,000 people in the United States and north of 700,000 people worldwide. Hurricane season is beginning and promises more death and destruction. 30 million Americans are on unemployment as thousands of businesses close their doors, many permanently. For Black Americans every day has felt dangerous for centuries. The death of George Floyd on May 26 brought on the biggest surge of protesting seen in many years as people demand change, change that comes much too slowly. It is a wearisome fight for many, but a fight that must continue.

Devlin Scott, a Black pastor at NewCity Church, talked to me about his vision to put on an event for Black Americans and allies. I’ll share his words:

There is no doubt that people of color are deeply feeling the murder of yet another black man gone viral. Many are frustrated that this happened again; that change seems like a fairytale and justice seems like an unattainable goal. People of color, especially Black people, are not okay. We all want to help. We all want to act. But first, we needed to mourn; we needed to weep. And before we get back to the fight, let’s recharge, let’s refuel, let’s make room for our neighbors of color to be themselves, feel safe, catch their breath, and get back up. This is why NewCity Church is hosting the HOPE IS RISING Event.

As Devlin raced to assemble a team to make this concert happen we decided it would be the perfect fit for my first client project. We put together a simple document with what the webpage needed to convey, and Devlin sent over a background image to use that his graphic designer had made. Two weeks later we were live. The website was a simple and effective way to direct people to everything they needed:

Ticket sales (Eventbrite) Volunteer signup/waiver Event vision and logistics Social distancing guidelines. Vimeo livestream The event sold out, and went off without a hitch. The mayor, a police lieutenant, a number of activists, local church leaders, and members of the Black Resident Coalition shared their hearts in between musical performances that mourned, inspired, and celebrated. I was honored to participate behind the scenes, and see the hours spent learning and practicing web development go towards something so meaningful.