The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) has worked for more than four decades to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and youth. NCYL leads campaigns, weaving together research, public awareness, policy development, technical assistance and litigation to ensure governmental systems provide the support these children and youth need to thrive.
More than 13 years ago, NCYL needed a poster to put in courtrooms and foster care offices to reassure clients that they had the right to feel safe and protected, and that hatred of any kind was not welcome there. The poster needed to be eye-catching and inclusive—for as many people as possible to see themselves honored.
A lead attorney at NCYL and I came up with an extensive list of types of people deserving of protection, reflecting the diversity of their clientele: one short central message, and a much longer list of people it would apply to. We distilled down the central message to a statement that the safe space was a “hate free zone” for all people. This led me to the bold foreground / background design of the large red type with the repeating list of smaller gray type “receding” behind it. The poster was also translated into Spanish, and the wording was recently updated to change “latino” to “latinx” and add “gnc” (gender non-conforming), among other alterations.
Over the past 13 years, the poster has been reprinted in various formats for the Out of Home Youth Advocacy Council (San Francisco), the YWCA of Silicon Valley’s Social and Racial Justice Program, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (San Francisco), the ACLU of Southern California, the Los Angeles Affiliate of the National Counsel for Children, and many other organizations nationwide.
In these dark times, I’m making these posters available at no cost. Please download them and put them anywhere you think they might help—your work, classroom, or community. Anywhere you want people to feel a little safer. There’s room at the bottom for you to add contact information or another message. (Just make sure my copyright information stays on them.) Click on the links to download the PDFs. Right-click (Control-click) the JPG images below to “Save As.” If you need other sizes of the PDFs, please contact me.
- Hate Free Zone 8.5×11 English – PDF
- Hate Free Zone 8.5×11 Spanish – PDF
- Hate Free Zone 11×17 English – PDF
- Hate Free Zone 11×17 Spanish – PDF