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Childhood Friends Teaming Up To Bring Message Of Racial Justice To Philadelphia Suburbs With Symbol Of Solidarity

JENKINTOWN, Pa. (CBS) -- Two childhood friends are teaming up to bring a message of racial justice to Philadelphia's suburbs.

"This symbol is used as a way for people to talk and people to have conversations," Brian Bowens said.

A colorful talking point for one of the darkest times in history.

Bowens is the artist behind the Symbol of Solidarity mural in Jenkintown.

"To me, with this symbol, it just shows an illustration of all types of walks, all types of backgrounds and experiences coming together in power, in unity and agreement," Bowens said.

The two-story mural on Johnson Street began as a standard-size painting and then, Bowens brought it to a vigil in town following the death of George Floyd.

Dr. Stuart Tollen, who owns the building, was there, saw the painting and commissioned the mural.

"Jenkintown is becoming more diverse, so I think it really fits in quite nicely," Tollen said.

Now, the mural and its message are the focus of a brand new documentary that's premiering Wednesday night.

"It's a story that's a true American story of the time," Esteban Serrano, documentarian, said.

Serrano and Bowens are childhood friends. At first, the documentary was supposed to just feature Bowens painting the mural, but it morphed into how Jenkintown responded to the social and racial justice movement.

"I just want them to see an example of an America that we all want to live in," Serrano said. "That's the case in point."

The documentary premieres at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night at the Hiway Theater on York Road.

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