“They Hold Us Back” Artwork by Aarianna Bess

Creative Reaction Lab
Equal Space
Published in
2 min readApr 27, 2023

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Before we continue with the article, please note that all of these artworks and descriptions were submitted by the artists before June 24th, back when the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade was a possibility instead of a certainty. As such, even though the tenses and wording might not line up at times, the threat we’re warned about is here.

“They Hold Us Back,” by Aarianna Bess belongs to a series of postcards created by Artwork for Equity alums (learn more about our yearly campaign here), who worked with the purpose of both:

  1. Reflecting on the harm that Black and Latinx communities face in health & wellness spaces, as well as,
  2. Building awareness around the political erasure of underrepresented voices throughout our nation.

Arianna Bess is an African American young woman who likes to make art that relates and connects to people. Commenting on the ways she’d found inspiration, the artist wrote how she “noticed that people in power are predominantly white men. Meanwhile women are advocating for one another and fighting for their rights. Women do not feel heard. [She] wanted to show how this is only pulling and holding [women] back and will only eventually cause harm.”

Looking specifically at her process of depicting meaning, she reflects on how she “used purple to represent femininity and women’s rights.”

Free of cost (through this request form), you can get any of the fifteen postcards in this series — designed by fifteen incredible youth artists — mailed to you. Alternatively, you can also purchase them yourself from our store. To take action as a Redesigner for Justice, get involved in a writing campaign:

  • Why? Not only are writing campaigns great ways to mobilize your close social circles (friends, family), but they also help to raise awareness about the issues your community is facing.
  • How?Write a letter to your community leaders and officials demanding them to fight against racial and health inequities that you’ve experienced in your community and want to change!

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Creative Reaction Lab
Equal Space

At Creative Reaction Lab, we believe that Black and Latinx youth are integral to advancing racial equity and developing interventions for their communities.