Colorful billboards popping up around the Quad Cities encourage inclusion

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DAVENPORT, Iowa  --  A new campaign in the Quad Cities is trying to combat hate with billboards. One Quad Cities church is hoping the billboards do more than just catch attention. The campaign is called "Love Billboards Campaign."

"It's important that everybody know they are respected," Love billboard campaign co-founder Rev. Rich Hendricks said. "I hope it makes people think."

There are 10 billboards scattered around Moline, Rock Island, Bettendorf, and Davenport. They have simple phrases like "love, coexist, and stop the racism".

"We are responding to the many faces of hate," Hendricks said. "Race based hate, religious based hate, and LGBTQ based hate."

"Appreciate the diversity, Hendricks said. "From that diversity is strength and it makes our Quad Cities a much stronger community."

Pastor Tammy Ruffin knows what it's like to be a victim of a hate crime. In 2018, Ruffin found dead animals pinned to her church. 

"We all have two eyes, one nose, and one mouth, Ruffin said. "There is no one bigger or better than anyone else."

Nothing has happened to her church since the 2018 attack, but Ruffin says that doesn't mean hate has stopped.

"We need more billboards," Ruffin said. "I appreciate groups like this."

"This is not a solution to hate, Hendricks said. "This is one positive way of responding to the many faces of hate."

The billboards will be up until the middle of June. To keep the billboards up longer, you can donate on One Human Family's Facebook page.

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