LAFCU Announces Winners of ‘Love & Equity’ Art Competition

    LANSING, Mich. — Looking for some good news? Are you in need of a comforting message of unity and hope?

    You might be able to just look up or hop online to see those messages. LAFCU, a Michigan credit union, is showcasing the 10 winning entries of its “Act with Love & Equality” art initiative on billboards across Michigan and via LAFCU’s digital channels, including its social media platforms and website.

    LAFCU had asked Michigan residents to graphically depict words of love and equality for use as public reminders about what is important in daily life.

    There is also growing community support of the project, too. Eaton Theatre, Charlotte, and Lansing Lugnuts are among the businesses sharing the images on their platforms.

    “We are honored these artists are allowing us to share their creative work to help inspire a community in which love and equality flourish,” said Kelli Ellsworth Etchison, LAFCU chief marketing officer and chief diversity officer. “As a credit union with nearly 70,000 members, we have an obligation to use our platforms for good. Art is a powerful communicator. It can show us what words alone cannot.”

    The words and the artists who graphically depicted them are:

    • Change — Nevin Speerbrecker, Lansing
    • Empathy — Brian Whitfield, Lansing
    • Heal — Laura Dixon, Clarklake; Mike Holcomb, Okemos; Lisa O’Connor, Mason
    • Hope — Alayna, Brija and Kayla Fradette, Grand Ledge
    • Humanity — Isabella Spagnuolo, Williamston
    • Kind — Larissa Moyer, East Lansing; Kellie Swiger, Grand Ledge
    • Love — Madison Miller, Charlotte
    • One — Erika Noud, East Lansing
    • Peace — Riley Griffin, Holt
    • Unity — Theressa Levett, St. Johns

    The winning artwork along with the respective artist statements are posted on the LAFCU website at An example of an artist statement is Brian Whitfield’s, in which he notes that each letter in his colored pencil drawing of the word “Empathy” illustrates a story where empathy is desired. These include depictions of the sick and the caregiver, violence by guns, violence toward the Asian community, the loneliness of loss, and faith and hope through beliefs.