In an announcement on Monday, the Phinney Neighborhood Association (PNA) communicated it will be retiring its holiday monkey project. The metal LED-lit monkeys have decorated local businesses during the winter season for the past five years.
The decision stemmed from the recognition that use of monkeys in this way may be harmful to Black community members and visitors because the monkey has been used as a racist symbol, with Black people being derogatorily referred to as monkeys symbolically and in language.
The PNA states that this is one step in its work to dismantle systemic racism. The PNA Business Advisory Group will be working to establish a new winter tradition for the community and will seek local business and community feedback during the planning process.
Read the PNA’s full statement here.