Help us raise this year’s billboard. Join us in protest on MLK Day.


Since 2018, my wife Tracie and I have been organizing protests of the newly built Confederate memorial in Orange, Texas, where she grew up and where her family and much of her extended family still lives.

We will be at the site protesting on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 16, 2023 (please stay tuned for event details).

Every year since the site’s completion in 2017, we have raised billboards across the road that feature Dr. King and a quote from his writings and speeches. The image literally looks down over the memorial.

The monument was conceived and built by the Orange, Texas chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. It sits at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Interstate 10, just a few exits west of the Louisiana border.

Click here to see their flier promoting fundraising for construction (note that it contains offensive material).

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the people who built it intended for it to be an affront to the Black community in city that has a sordid legacy of racism and racist violence (just ask any Black Texan of a certain age and they will tell you how their parents told them to avoid Orange as they drove to or from New Orleans).

As in previous years, the billboard will begin to appear in the days leading up to MLK Day and throughout Black History Month (February).

We over-raised $910 in last year’s campaign and we have already applied that money to this year’s. The more money we can raise (in $1,000 increments), the longer the billboard will appear (it costs roughly $1,000 for four weeks). Currently, we are shooting for a total of $2,000 to reach our goal for this year. Right now, we only have $900 to go!

Any amount, no matter how small, matters. Even if you’re not able to donate, you can help to further our cause by sharing with friends and posting on social media.

There’s no legal means for us to get the Sons to repurpose the site. We can’t even get them to dialog with us. The site sits on private property and is protected by free speech standards.

But we have no intention of giving up our fight: at the very least, we will continue to show solidarity with the Black community in Orange and we will continue to remind the White supremacists that it’s no longer socially acceptable to display symbols of racism and racist violence. Their “Memorial of the Wind” is especially egregious because of how conspicuously it is displayed.

Please help us in our campaign by donating to our GoFundMe here. And please share with your networks. Every dollar, every share counts!

Thank you for your support and solidarity. We hope to see you on MLK Day in Orange!

Jeremy Parzen
Repurpose co-founder

Happy Martin Luther King Day 2022!

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

As a chilly dawn breaks over Southeast Texas, a billboard with an image of Dr. King and one of his most famous quotes can be seen rising over eastbound Interstate 10, just a few miles west of the Louisiana border.

The image stands on MLK Dr., one of the main arteries of Orange, Texas where Tracie grew up and where we often visit our family with our children, ages 8 and 10.

Our girls, Georgia and Lila Jane, know a lot about Dr. King, his life and legacy. They know that only a generation ago he fought for all Americans to enjoy the freedoms of living in a democracy. They know that he ultimately gave his life in his ceaseless efforts to make our country a true democracy, one where all people, regardless of their color, could live without fear of authoritarian violence and suppression.

They know little of the insidious efforts of neo-Confederates like the Sons of Confederates Veterans who unveiled a newly built monument along MLK Dr. in Orange in the shadow of I-10 in 2017.

They know little of the Sons’ main propagandists, the Kennedy brothers, who sell their books on the Sons’ website — books like Was Jefferson Davis Right?, Rekilling Lincoln, and The South Was Right (also available on Amazon).

They know little of how their neo-Confederate foot soldiers, like the ones who raised the monument in Orange, claim to be merely celebrating their “heritage” and “history,” as they like to put it.

They know little of the historic, collective suffering the Black community in Orange has endured for generations since slavery, Reconstruction, and Jim Crow.

They know little of the pain that residents, Black and White, feel when they drive past the Sons’ neo-Confederate memorial when they drive to work each day.

Georgia and Lila Jane drove by those flags just a few months ago when they attended their great-grandmothers funeral. She worshipped at a church just a few miles up the road from the monument. Between the church and graveside services and then the reception that followed, they passed by the site four times. But they hardly know what those flags mean and what they represent to the people who live here.

They do know that their parents, with the help of generous donors, have raised the billboard that today appears across the road. They know that each year their family visits Orange on MLK Day to march in the city’s historic MLK Day parade (now on hold because of health concerns). They remember that they themselves have marched in that parade in years past.

Happy MLK Day! Please check out Jelani Cobb’s excellent essay for the New Yorker this week, “Martin Luther King, Jr.’s History Lessons.”

Tracie and I share our heartfelt thanks with everyone who contributed to our Go Fund Me campaign to raise the billboard this year. It was first posted on Friday and will remain in place throughout Black History Month (February).

Jeremy Parzen
co-founder of Repurpose Repurpose Memorial

Help us raise an MLK billboard overlooking the neo-Confederate memorial in Orange, Texas.

There will be no protest this MLK Day because of health concerns but please consider giving to our campaign to raise an MLK billboard overlooking the neo-Confederate memorial in Orange, Texas.

The billboard will be posted next Friday (before MLK Day) and will remain in place throughout February, Black History Month.

Thank you. And even if you can’t give, please consider sharing the GoFundMe on social media. Thank you for your support and solidarity.

Here’s the link. Thank you.

MLK Day 2021 Parade, Monday, January 18, 2021.

The last MLK Day parade was held in Orange in January 2018.

Please join Repurpose Memorial on January 18, 2021 in the Martin Luther King Day Parade in Orange, Texas.

The parade will begin at Solomon Johnson Park at 10 a.m. and end at the Heritage House Museum.

Co-organizer Impact Orange and Repurpose Memorial have been working closely with the City of Orange to ensure that we can march safely.

We’re going to be requiring marchers to wear masks and socially distance. We’ll be asking people to form groups of no more than 10 persons, ideally from the same household, and then we’ll coordinate the timing of each group’s start time so that they can socially distance from other groups. We will also have free masks to distribute.

There will be no speeches or gathering at the end of the march. We’ll simply disassemble at the end point.

Our heartfelt thanks goes out to the City of Orange for their help in making this possible (they have been awesome to deal with).

Heartfelt thanks also to everyone who donated to our GoFundMe campaign to raise money for our special events insurance policy. We raised more than our $500 goal. The extra money will go to masks, bottled water, and hand sanitizer to distribute at the march. The campaign is still active if you’d like to contribute.

That’s a photo of Solomon Johnson below (it comes from the Portal to Texas History via the Heritage House Museum in Orange). The park where the march will begin is named after him.

According to the Orange Leader:

    Solomon Johnson was an Orange native who served as president of the Civic Betterment League for 22 years and was referred to as the “bronze mayor” for several years. As “bronze mayor” he attended city council meetings to represent his people in the community even though he was not allowed to vote. He also lead delegates to the Texas Negro Chamber of Commerce and the National Negro Business League. It was during his time as president, the first black police officer was hired. At that time, the officer was only allowed to arrest black offenders.

On January 18, 2021, as we celebrate the legacy of Dr. King, we will also honor the many civil rights activists from Orange who have fought for justice and equity over the years. We hope you can join us. (See this Orange Leader article to learn more about some of those community leaders.)

MLK Day 2021 Parade fundraiser. Thank you for your support.

Please donate to our GoFundMe here.  has joined forces with Impact Orange founder MaQuettia Ledet to organize the 2021 Martin Luther Kind Day Parade in Orange, Texas.

On MLK Day 2021 (January 18), at 10 a.m., marchers will walk from Solomon Johnson Park  to the steps of the Heritage House Museum in Orange.

All marchers will be asked to wear face masks and to social distance. At the end of the route, the marchers will be asked to disassemble. There will be no speeches or presentations at the end of the parade.

All necessary permissions have been obtained from the City of Orange and the Orange Mayor’s office. And the Orange Heritage House Museum has agreed to let marchers disassemble in front of the museum.

This fundraiser will pay for the special events insurance policy, which covers the marchers and the City of Orange. The insurance is the only element not yet in place.

The historic MLK Day Parade, a beloved Orange tradition, has not been held since 2018.

Repurpose Memorial and Impact Orange are pleased to revive this cherished event and to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you for your support. We hope you will be able to join us as we celebrate the life and work of Dr. King.

Please donate to our GoFundMe here.

“The time is always right to do right.”

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
From “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution”
June, 1965

Read the speech in its entirety here.

Black Lives Matter over newly built neo-Confederate memorial in Orange, Texas.

Earlier this month, posted its latest billboard across from the newly built neo-Confederate memorial in Orange, Texas where Tracie grew up.

We are happy to report that “Black Lives Matter” currently looks down on the site from across the road.

Tracie and I launched in January, 2018 (we began protesting the site in November 2017 after the neo-Confederates began displaying their flags there for the first time). Since that time, we have repeatedly asked the Sons of Confederate Veterans (the neo-Confederate and outwardly racist group behind the memorial) to enter into dialog with us about how the memorial could be repurposed (not torn down) to reflect community values in a city where nearly half the residents are black and where there is a sordid legacy of racist violence.

So far, the Sons have responded with threats of violence and trolling.

The billboard was made possible through our ongoing GoFundMe campaign. Thanks to the generosity of donors, we were able to secure the billboard for six months. This is the second billboard we’ve published since we inked our latest contract.

We hope to raise enough money to renew the contract by the time it expires in January, 2021 (right before Martin Luther King Day).

The “Confederate Memorial of the Wind” stands on Martin Luther King Dr., one of the city’s main arteries. Construction on the site began in 2015 and the neo-Confederates began displaying their flags there in late 2017 (not long after the notorious neo-Nazi and neo-Confederate march in Charlottesville, Virginia).

The response to the new billboard has been overwhelmingly positive.

Heartfelt thanks to Orange native designer Ashley Evans for creating the artwork and to Beaumont-based photographer Pete Churton for the photo above.

And thank you to everyone who contributed to our campaign: none of this would be possible without you!

Jeremy Parzen

Thank you for helping us raise our billboard overlooking the memorial for the next 6 months!

Thanks to your generosity and solidarity (via our GoFundMe), we were able to purchase 6 months of advertising space for the price of 5. With our new contract, our billboards will be appearing through the end of the year and MLK Day 2021. Over the course of our now 3-year campaign to repurpose the site, countless Orange residents have written us to express their support for our efforts. Every time a mother or father drives down MLK Dr. (a main artery) in Orange to take their children to school, they see our billboard across from the memorial. We hope it is a reminder to them that the overwhelming majority of Orange residents oppose the conspicuous display of Confederate iconography in their city. The billboard wouldn’t be possible without you. Please see the new artwork below. I’ve also included a photo from our last protest in June. In the background you can see the billboard that was made possible by our previous round of fund raising. Tracie and I would like to share our heartfelt thanks with you for donating to our campaign.

City Attorney: “The City Council has always been opposed to the existence of the Memorial in Orange.”

“The City Council has always been opposed to the existence of the Memorial in Orange,” writes Orange, Texas city attorney John Cash Smith in an op-ed published yesterday by the Orange Leader, the city’s paper of record.

Read Mr. Smith’s letter to learn what steps the city has taken to hinder the site’s visibility.

Please donate to our GoFundMe campaign to raise an MLK billboard overlooking the newly built Confederate memorial in Orange, Texas.