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Forever 21 Directly Ripped-off a Queer Nonprofit / Local Gay Artist Stands Outside Forever 21 Protesting the Company’s Exploitation During a Pandemic

08-31-2020 11:02 AM CET | Arts & Culture

Press release from: Classroom of Compassion

Side by Side of the original Classroom of Compassion T-shirt and the Forever 21 copycat

Side by Side of the original Classroom of Compassion T-shirt and the Forever 21 copycat

Los Angeles, CA (August 30, 2020) - Classroom of Compassion is a queer nonprofit in Los Angeles, creating art for and alongside communities in need by sharing eight little words: “I Hope U Know How Loved U Are.“ As of August 15, 2020, Forever 21, the billion-dollar fashion company, started selling a t-shirt with this exact message. It is a direct rip-off of the Classroom of Compassion brand, mission, and trademark.

“This message is at the core of who we are and what we do. Every space we build and lesson we design is intended to remind each community they are loved,” says David Maldonado.

The first time Dave and his partner Noah showcased that message was at Los Angeles Pride in 2018. It was a very personal message of love and support to their queer family in honor of the two-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub terror attack. For the past two years, Dave and Noah have been amplifying these eight words to communities healing from trauma across America. From building memorials for the Trans community, to holding mantra-writing and compassion workshops with families of gun violence, to hosting healing floral-arranging classes empowering LGBTQIA youth at the LA LGBT Center. These eight words are on their flags, t-shirts, signs, installations, and memorials. “I hope u know how loved u are” is at the root of everything they say and do. Every act of service.

Forever 21 has stolen not only their words but their ability to connect and heal communities.

“Without the funding from these shirts, I don’t know how we’ll be able to continue our projects,” says Noah Reich.

This shirt is not just a message. It is an act of loving-kindness. Every single shirt is made by Dave. He makes every shirt by hand, from the screen-printing, cutting, labeling, tagging, packaging and shipping. Every shirt he sends with love. These t-shirts have been the primary source of fundraising for every project. Every gun violence memorial, public art installations, and compassionate workshops was funded by these very t-shirts. They’d invested every dollar they have into communities to spread this message.

Please donate to their GoFundMe to help raise funds for future programming, or purchase the original “I Hope U Know How Loved U Are” shirt from their online store.

Classroom of Compassion
17914 Magnolia Blvd.
Encino, CA 91316.

Press Contact:
Jasmin Guzman
(818) 517-4690

Classroom of Compassion is a Los Angeles based floral and arts organization dedicated to teaching and sharing the restorative and artistic practice of compassion and self compassion. Our werk is dedicated to inspiring and imagining a future that supports the mental wellness of ALL communities. We are artistic caretakers, creating safe, soothing, and imaginative spaces that connect and uplift communities facing challenges and instability. Our mission is to remind each and every person that they are loved and worthy of compassion and care.

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