RBG–Give a Damn

About the Artwork

“This West Village storefront window was photographed prior to 2020–the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a renewed reckoning with systemic racism in the US, a momentous and divisive presidential election; and the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The lavender floral garland that frames the stylized image of RBG is part celebration, part memorial, and its own call to action. ‘Give a damn’–more than a clever branding and marketing slogan–was the ethos of Justice Ginsburg’s example and advocacy. Why didn’t we? Why didn’t I give a damn more about inequity and injustice, suffering and dying, before 2020, as I was strolling all too casually down Bleecker Street?”

Peter R. Lewis is a professor of family and community medicine and of humanities at Penn State College of Medicine.

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