The Paramount Center isn’t just advertising the latest in entertainment on its electronic marquee. The Emerson College theater in Downtown Crossing is speaking out against hate and in favor of harmony.
“We choose: hope, love, respect, equality, community,” the marquee said Tuesday morning as people walked by, preoccupied with the day ahead, hot morning coffees and cellphones clutched in their hands.
In another message, the side panel of the display said “Dear Dreamers” — apparently a reference to the DACA program that President Trump ended, then called on Congress to fix — while the front panel proclaimed, “We choose: inclusivity, generosity, art, curiosity, compassion.”
Another message on the marquee: “When hate is allowed to flourish, it threatens everyone’s freedom,” which was attributed to Emerson president Lee Pelton.
David Dower, a vice president at Emerson College, said the quote from Pelton went up after white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, Va., in August and one counterdemonstrator was killed.
The DACA message went up earlier this month after the Trump administration’s announcement it was terminating DACA.
Dower, who is also coartistic director of ArtsEmerson, which presents theater on the Paramount Center and Cutler Majestic Theatre stages, said the marquee has been showing various messages since January 2015.
“We wanted an opportunity to just share out our values as a college and as ArtsEmerson and celebrate our city,” he said.
Dower said he is the author of the messages, but he runs them by Pelton, who has been supportive.
“He’s always and only said, ‘Keep going. Keep going,’ ” he said.
“Whenever we have a values-based response to something that’s going on, we respond there as a way to create a conversation,” he said.
Asked what message might come up next, he said, “We don’t plan. We just respond.”
“Ideally, the next thing we do will be something like celebrating the Red Sox World Series,” he said.