How This Image of MLK "Took The Internet By Storm"

January 19, 2015

How This Image of MLK

This Martin Luther King Day, we're looking back at one of CAN's most impactful images, honoring the civil rights icon in the best way we know how.

April 4th, 1968: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., while advocating for the rights of African American sanitation workers, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, by James Earl Ray.

February 26th, 2012: Trayvon Martin, a junior at Dr. Michael M. Krop High School, was visiting his father in Sanford, Flordia. While walking home with skittles and an iced tea in his pocket, he was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman. 

July 13, 2013: George Zimmerman is acquitted by a jury of his peers, and walks free out of a Florida courthouse. 

Later that night: We shared this image by Nikkolas Smith, a Los Angeles based artist, who contributed this piece to our Gun Show Gallery campaign, crowdsourcing artwork about gun safety. 


A few minutes later: Civil rights advocate and CAN advisor, Van Jones, tweeted Nikk's image to his followers online. 

and hip-hop artist Common shared on facebook & instagram soon after. 

The next day, July 14th, 2013: Mainstream media outlets across the country start featuring the image in their coverage, noting that it's already "taken the internet by storm." 

The coverage becomes self-fulfilling, and hours later, the image is truly everywhere online. 

Thursday, July 18th: CAN's own Nikkolas Smith goes live on CNN to discuss his piece and the role of artistic expression in social justice, with Martin Luther King Jr.'s niece. 

We couldn't be more proud of that chain of events -  how one artist, with northing more than a great idea, photoshop, and our platform to share his work, changed the national conversation for the better.

You can support Nikk and his continued work by purchasing this, or other of his phenomenal prints, at:



Also in News

We March On: A Gift Guide for The Most Important Election Ever
We March On: A Gift Guide for The Most Important Election Ever

September 22, 2020

RBG was a hero to all of us, and now it's our job to continue her legacy of fighting for equality. The upcoming election is our best chance to make our voices heard, to speak up and do good things that will inspire others to do the same. In the spirit of good things and good causes, we're proud to introduce CAN's new 2020 voter gift guide, with merchandise that all gives back to our non profit partners and UltraViolet. We've all got to vote (and vote hard!) this fall so please make sure you're registered to vote and that you know how to vote by mail. Voting has already started in several states! 

Continue Reading

We've Given Away 4,000 Free Masks (and Counting)
We've Given Away 4,000 Free Masks (and Counting)

August 24, 2020

We're excited to announce our new face mask collection that gives free masks to workers! For every mask we sell, we donate a mask to a essential worker who needs one. We've already distributed 4,000 free masks since July and we're so grateful to everyone who helped us get this project off the ground. A huge thank you to for getting our masks out into the world and to Economic Security Project for their generous support. Thanks to all the artists who contributed designs to this project and for always being so enthusiastic about our art campaigns. And thanks to you, our customers, for helping us get more masks into the hands of essential workers who need them! Our mask collection is growing fast and we thought you'd enjoy the story of how it all started. Thanks so much for reading and as always, thanks for wearing a mask! ~Team CAN

Continue Reading

The Best Election Year Gifts for Feminists
The Best Election Year Gifts for Feminists

August 10, 2020

Elections are coming and the excitement of change is in the air! As we gear up to vote in a few months and look forward to a better future, we can't help but think back to a century ago when the 19th Amendment was officially adopted and women finally won the right to vote. It's been a hundred years and we've come a long way, but there are is still plenty of work to be done, which is why we've partnered with independent artists to create a collection of the best feminist gifts as we head into November. Every feminist gift we sell helps support UltraViolet organization in their hard work to advance the cause of all women, and we won't stop marching until there's equality for all. 

Continue Reading