“Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak…non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win.” –Cesar Chavez.
If you have passed by Gary School on 31st street this summer you probably have noticed a mural in the works there. Bright, colorful flowers in the painting grab your attention, even from blocks away. The familiar images of the arch entering Little Village and Chicago’s skyline make you want to take a closer look. Many people are probably wondering, what is this mural really about?
LVEJO interns, volunteers, and some Gary School students worked together to put the mural together this summer. The mural spans an entire wall of one of the school’s buildings but so far is not completed. Cesar Chavez’s words about non-violence, as quoted at the beginning of this article, are in the design plans to be featured at the top of the mural. Images of some of the Gary School students who helped painting the mural will be wheat-pasted under the arch, along with some environmental justice images promoting the community garden, re-use/re-new/recycle, and anti-coal power.
The mural is a platform to spread the ideas of these words and images throughout the community on a large scale. All of the Gary School students and many of their parents will most likely see it. All of the pedestrians and traffic on 31st street will probably see it too. All of the community members who frequent the playground, basketball hoops, soccer field, and garden of the school will for sure see the mural, too. This makes the mural a powerful tool for activism, since the ideas presented in its words and images have the potential to reach a lot of people.