Hope - Murals for Social Change

Lately, everyday I feel depressed and helpless as I see endless stories of what is happening to families seeking asylum and refuge at our southern boarder. I am not an activist, politician, liberal, conservative, republican, democrat or whatever label you choose to give me. I am just a simple artist, husband and father that can't imagine the pain I would feel if I were separated from my children.  I was brought to this country by my parents when I was around 7 years old. We were undocumented and lived in hiding. We lived in fear most of my childhood. My experience was nothing compared to what this asylum seekers are going though, but I can truly empathize. 
 
I decided to get involved by raising awareness, and the best way I could do that is through my art. My  initial goal for this mural project was to raise funding for organizations helping children being detained at our southern border though my murals. Hoping, that the public art pieces would inspire meaningful dialogue in the community about what it going on and our collective responsibility to do something to change it.

As I was pursuing walls to secure for the project I reached out to The International Rescue Committee   (IRC) of Phoenix.  The IRC works with asylum seeking families when they are released from detention. They just converted an old elementary school that has been shut down for 12 years into the new Welcome Center in Phoenix .  They took me on a tour of the facility, the work they are doing is amazing, especially considering it is all done by privet donations, as they receive no government funding.

As amazing as the place was, I was moved to tears. Being on a very tight budget, the organizations main focus is helping the families, getting them what they needed...ect. The do not have the man power of funds to make this  old cold building into a place that is welcoming and hopeful. While walking through the facilities, I decided to change the focus of my project.  I am raising funds so I can turn this old school into a place that will give hope to the individuals, the families, to the children that walk through those halls, and spend time their as they are being processed.

I am donating my time to paint murals through out the facility. Wherever they will let me. I have been given the blessing to fulfill my vision to turn this facility into a place that inspires, that heals, and most important a place that gives hope and some joy to it's occupants. I hope that I can raise enough funds for supplies and materials for the murals.  Any funds left over will be donated to the International Rescue Committee  (IRC),  They just opened and are in major need for donations.

Donations can be dropped off at the Welcome Center, Friday to Sunday, 10-2, at 1801 S. 12th St., Phoenix, AZ 85034.

Artist, if you feel the same way I do and would like to donate your time to collaborate and /or paint a mural as well, please contact me.

I am asking you all to help me by donating what you can  so I can create the murals or to donate directly to the Welcome Center as they do their best to help the children and families. 

Once again, this has nothing to do with politics, or what side you are on. I'm doing this as a gesture to help these children because I believe it is the right thing to do. We as a nation, as human beings need to come together, we are better than this. When vulnerable populations are being inhumanely treated, indifference in a society is as dangerous as violence. It doesn't matter if these policies haven't impacted you personally, what is happening to these children should deeply concern you, period. That's why I am painting these murals. 

#neveragain  #muralsforsocialchange #closethecamps #formychildren  #hugosart #RefugeesWelcome #AsylumSeekersWelcome


You can follow my progress on my Instagram  and /or Facebook  page.
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Organizer

Hugo Medina 
Organizer
Phoenix, AZ

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