The pictures look great, and the quotes are awesome. I really enjoyed Friday because the rest of the staff weren't in, so it was just me doing work quietly, which I prefer, and hanging out with the two girls. They are great fun to talk to and very diligent, I had a lot of fun learning more about them, since most of the time when AYA meets it is a huge group and there's a lot going on and I'm usually busy making sure things go smoothly.
On Saturday it was a really different experience. AYA went out to the Bronx to help some groups do a mural on police reform and community safety. The mural is really elaborate and really neat, featuring a lot of symbolism and working together between communities and law enforcement. I got there late because I had a conference call for an upcoming seminar, but I'm so glad I got to help out a bunch still. A lot of the bottom half of the mural was done, and I helped out with all over the far right and the far left sides of the mural. It's so cool to be able to do art with your own hands and even though it was really hot out and we sweat a lot, we put a lot of love into it. Youth and people from other groups/backgrounds also were there to paint. I wish I got to know them, but maybe next time I'll take more of an initiative to do so.
At the end of the mural painting day, we closed out and debriefed. We were asked what we want the community to take away when they pass by the mural. I hope everyone can see a part of themselves in the mural, whether they identify most with the tree, the car, the roots, the clouds, the ground, the people, the buildings, the cops, etc. And feel like they can see themselves in a vision of a safe community that is grassroots. That would be awesome. A driving motivation behind my work is to push people to be able to imagine and see a better future, a world where things could change and give power to the people. If we can't even imagine ourselves in a better future, how can we start to want that future and work towards it?