The group, called Good Stuff in Frisco, helped organize a Rocks Against Racism event to be held June 10. It will give the public the opportunity to decorate the large stones with positive messages while engaging in open dialogue about racial injustice and other issues.
“I don't want it to just be a gesture of something to do. I want to make sure it has a purpose,” said Shannon Hammond, who founded the Good Stuff in Frisco group. “The purpose is while we're painting rocks, talk to our kids, have conversations about why we're doing it and how we're supposed to treat people.”
Hammond said she hopes the painted rocks will be placed along sidewalks and walking paths throughout the city to help send a message to people who see them. She explained the campaign rose out of the national conversations about racism and social injustice that have followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while in police custody last month.
“I don't know what to do. I just want to do something,” Hammond said about the origins of the idea. “People love painting those rocks with kindness messages. I thought how great it would be if we could shift just a little bit and paint the rocks with messages against hatred [and for] anti-racism [and] unity and place them all over Frisco.”
Frisco masonry supply store Jewell Oldcastle APG donated 200 rocks to the campaign, Hammond said. Good Stuff in Frisco bought paint, and area neighbors donated money for permanent markers to decorate the rocks, she said.
“I know this isn’t the answer to everything, but this is just a little step to get us thinking while this issue is right in front of us,” Hammond said. “And hopefully it can lead to more things.”
The kickoff event in front of Hammond's Main Street business, Countdown 2 Escape, was June 6. She said the feedback received so far has been really positive.
“We had black friends, white friends, everyone was talking, having conversations and truly listening,” Hammond said. “When we meet people and see them as human beings, get to know them and we listen to them, that's where change begins. That's our hope for the second event is that people come, have conversations and make some new friends and listen.”
The June 10 event is slated for 7 p.m. in The Trails neighborhood’s Plateau Pool green space at the corner of The Trails Parkway and Smotherman Road. Hammond said several members of the neighborhood are co-sponsoring the event with Good Stuff in Frisco, and are providing tables, chairs and tablecloths.
“It's just the time to listen to people,” Hammond said. “I was kind of nervous that [Rocks Against Racism] might not be well received, but so many people were so happy to be part of the community just doing something. My hope is that everybody can realize, just like the Facebook group, we are all part of the good stuff in Frisco.”