Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Justice Community Celebrates the Culmination of Two New Groundswell Murals in Brownsville

It was an exciting summer for the Brownsville Justice Community Program! One of the highlights was the installation of two new beautiful murals in Brownsville. On August 28, 2014 and September 2, 2014, Groundswell revealed the two murals that were constructed over a six week period with help from young men and women of Brownsville and the Brownsville Justice Community Program.

The Junius St. Mural
Seven participants started their internship journey with Groundswell in June when they participated in the Groundswell interview process. Each Justice Community participant earned their internship stipend for participating in the construction of each of these murals.When asked why they wanted to be a part of this internship, many stated that they wanted to be a part of something that helps to bring a permanent change to their community. 

Justice Community Participant, Shinear Lowe, points to his name displayed on the mural
The first mural, located on the wall of the Food Bazaar located on Junius St.(between Dumont Ave and Livonia Ave) addresses the issue of mass incarceration among youth in the community. Entitled "P.I.C.T.U.R.E.S. Prison Industrial Complex: Tyranny Undermining Rights, Education, and Society", the construction of this mural gave participants the opportunity to express their opinions and views on this topic. They spent the first few weeks doing vigorous research on the topic to assist with the construction of their design. 

The research included attending art galleries, interviewing experts in the field of social reform and brainstorming as a group on design concepts. After the design was complete, the group presented the design concept to all partners to get approval. 

Once they received approval, the painting began! Over 3 weeks, participants painted the final concept of the mural, each day moving progressively closer to completion. On June 24th, they held a community paint day where the community was invited to help paint a part of the mural and were given a chance to hear more about the mural's construction. After six weeks the mural was complete and ready to be officially presented to the community.
Justice Community Participant, Nicholas Sutton, speaks about his experience during his Groundswell internship.
On August 28th, the community at large came out to show their support for all the hard work that was done. Participants expressed their gratitude for having the chance to be a part of something that would contribute to the positive changes happening in the Brownsville community.
Participants received a certificate of participation and celebrate their accomplishments with Groundswell, Justice Community staff and residents of the community

The second mural is entitled, "It's Not A Dream If You Will It" As part of the Transform/Restore: Brownsville Initiative through the National Endowment for the Arts and partnership with the Pitkin Ave. BID and New York City Department of Probation, this mural is the third of a series of five that will be done in the Brownsville Community over the next two years.
Justice Community participant, Tameel Marshall standing in front of the Pitkin Ave. Mural after receiving his certificate and recognitions.  
Using the words 'hero' and 'role model' as their focus during brainstorming, along with inspiration from the famous quote of Thomas Herzl, "If you will it, it is no dream", the young participants for this mural came up with a design that works to encourage community and aspirational thinking as the foundation to progressive action.  

Participants worked on creating this massive work of art and was able to present it to the community on September 2nd at their revealing.
Pitkin Ave. Mural "It's Not A Dream If You Will It"

We are proud of all the participants that were a part of the Groundswell internship this summer and all of the hard work they did to make both murals a success. We look forward to seeing more murals in the Brownsville community for years to come!


  1. Thats nice. Hope he stays on the right path. Something positive about Brownsville and no one has nothing to say.

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