As another week of national and local Black Lives Matter protests inches towards a weekend which refuses to be quiet, Kurt and I feel grateful for a family that invited us to their back porch and shared their hope with us. This is what Valentin, Ellie, Liz, Adri, Izabel, and Jonathan told us: “Our world changed in a blink of an eye. Right around the time the pandemic started, our two families united with the marriage of Valentin and Liz. Ellie gained a bonus dad and Jonathan, Izabel, and Adri gained a mom. 2020 became a memorable year for many reasons. Valentin embraces the quality time we have been able to spend together as a family, cooking dinner together every night. When the world stopped, we were able to draw closer together. We will always remember laughing in the kitchen roasting a turkey in April. We will remember adding two fur babies to our family, Ozzy and Nacho. Our home radiates with gratitude and full hearts. This is a time to hold onto to multiple truths. We can have gratitude and hold the sadness of the suffering around us. We think about the injustices that continue to happen in the world, the times we’ve been told to go back to Mexico or told not to speak Spanish. We can’t help but be categorized by the color of our skin and by our accents. The climate of hatred and division that we’ve experienced under the current president has felt like adding gasoline to the fire that was already burning. The pandemic is taking the lives of Black and Latinx people at a disproportionate rate. Kids are still in cages at the border. Families are still being separated. Black men and women are killed by police. People are hurting and worried about what the next days and months will bring. We want to work together towards a country that doesn’t ever want to build a wall. A wall signifies exclusion. We must be honest and call out the racism and colorism within our Latinx community. We need to be honest and bring attention to the mistakes in our own communities. Acknowledging our history and missteps can allow us to move forward and make change. We feel like this relates to the Black Lives Matter movement because Afro-Latinos and Latinas should be recognized and valued, and have their voices and experiences heard and believed within the Latinx community. As a family we can speak our truth to each other. We are learning and listening together. Jonathan, Izabel, and Adri feel safe speaking with Liz as they try to put together what is happening in the world. They all are extremely involved in the North Limestone community through Embrace United Methodist Church. Great leaders like John and Laura Gallaher have impacted their lives spiritually and emotionally. Common Good helped them each develop a purposeful journey and perspective. Valentin brings forward a perspective that is unique and so valued. Jonathan, Izabel, and Adri want Ellie to grow up in a world that is just and fair. Young children are currently trying to understand the pandemic, but how do you explain racism and police violence to a 5-year-old? We must have hard conversations and teach them if we want to create a better world for the generation that is coming. Educating the young generation to learn acceptance and love, and to stop tolerating hatred is so important. It shouldn’t matter if you are White, Black, Latinx, Asian, Native, LGTBQA+, Muslim, Christian, young, old, with different abilities or without. We can’t leave the work to the younger generation and wait for things to get better. The older generation must begin the work alongside the younger generation now to create a better world. #commongoodfam #northlimecommunity #matchstickgoods”

Lexington in the Time of COVID-19 is an artwork about people practicing social distancing at a time of a deadly virus. And also offering kindness.

Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova capture photographs at the periphery of American culture, where drag queens, discarded couches, and abandoned motel signs exist.