Kristine, Jason and baby Kacey Wickner have their photo taken for Inclusive Salmon Arm, a social media project showing they live in and are part of a caring, inclusive community. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Residents stand up for an inclusive Salmon Arm

Social media campaign spurred by vandalism of rainbow crosswalk

Ongoing vandalism of the city’s rainbow crosswalk has prompted residents to stand up for an inclusive Salmon Arm.

Kristine and Jason Wickner, with their baby Kacey, pick out a picture frame large enough for their family. Inside the otherwise empty frame is a sign with rainbow-coloured hearts and the hashtag #InclusiveSalmonArm. Posing with the frame in front of them, the Wickner’s have their photo taken to share the image on social media.

This community-driven campaign comes in response to the vandalism that has occurred at Salmon Arm’s rainbow crosswalk and the negative message it sends about the community.

“We were really excited about the rainbow sidewalk going in in Salmon Arm as a symbol of equality and support for the LGBT community and were really disheartened to see the vandalism that occurred and just wanted to respond in a positive way,” explained Kristine, “to show support and that love is love and we want this little guy to grow up in a world where everyone is free to do what they want, be who they want and love who they want.”

Related: Salmon Arm’s rainbow crosswalk vandalized after one week

Related: Police call Salmon Arm rainbow crosswalk vandalism a hate crime

Related: EDITORIAL: City right to remain resolute with rainbow crosswalk

City of Salmon Arm Coun. Tim Lavery got the photo campaign going after seeing the support others in town have shown for the rainbow crosswalk and what it represents.

“This is not really my initiative, it’s just recognizing what others have started off doing and providing an opportunity for people to make a statement themselves…,” said Lavery. “This is just a small effort that folks can stand up and indicate and accept and recognize that Salmon Arm is an inclusive place, it’s an accepting place, it’s a kind place.”

Lavery encourages Salmon Arm residents who want to make their own frame to show their support on Facebook or other social media use the #InclusivesSalmonArm hashtag.

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