Phoenix Latino community paints mural dedicated to civil rights

Monday, 04 December 2017, 05:09:44 AM. The Center for Neighborhood Leadership launches work on civil-rights murals in Maryvale.

Angel Delgado used to keep a 5-gallon bucket of beige paint in his backyard to cover unwanted graffiti alongside his Maryvale home.  

On Saturday, he was painting for a different reason.

Delgado joined neighbors creating a mural in red, brown and yellow hues aimed at spreading a message: Everyone, regardless of their citizenship status or the color of their skin, has civil and human rights.

The Center for Neighborhood Leadership, an Arizona non-profit, sponsored the project. The public art is the first in a series of Phoenix "Know Our Rights" murals.

The first mural, across the street from Maryvale High School near Osborn Road and 59th Avenue, will showcase community, family and civil-rights themes. 

The nonprofit hosted an educational workshop with the Latino community and recently partnered with students from Maryvale, North and Trevor Browne high schools to gather the teens' ideas for the murals.

Viridiana Hernandez, the center's executive director, said communities facing tightened immigration enforcement during President Donald Trump's administration believed that a motif dedicated to knowing your rights under city, state and federal laws seemed fitting.

"Maryvale has been one of the most targeted communities by police and law enforcement because we are majority of Latinx," Hernandez said. "A few weeks ago, we got a lot of raids in the community. ... That's why it's so important.

"We do have rights, regardless of immigration status, race, creed, sexuality," she added. "We all have rights."

Partial funding for the mural came from Phoenix's Office of Arts and Culture. Hernandez said she hopes the mural will serve as an education tool and bring the community together.

Viridiana Hernandez, executive director at The Center

Viridiana Hernandez, executive director at The Center for Neighborhood Leadership, explains to the community their constitutional rights. (Photo: Melina Zuñiga/The Republic)

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