Grow Healthy Mural Completed!

On January 27th YSA completed the installation of our new Grow Healthy tile mural, a community response to the challenges of health disparities in Berkeley and other cities in the East Bay. The mural represents our collective commitment to bridge the health disparities gap so that everyone in Berkeley can live a full life.

Over 100 youth artists from YSA led the creation of tiles that were included in this project. More than 300 local children and other neighborhood residents painted tiles, each making pledges to do one special thing to care more deeply for their health, and then painting that pledge on a 6 x 6 inch tile.

YSA partnered in this project with the City of Berkeley Dept. of Public Health in distributing health education materials at community tile painting workshops. We were also assisted by the City of Berkeley Office of Economic Development in this effort. The Adeline Street Merchants Association provided feedback to us as did the S. Berkeley Neighbors.

YSA is grateful to Board member, Alfonso Jaramillo for the efforts he made in completing our tile mural over the last three months and to contractor, Mike Rudd for his fine installation of the 10 ft x 20 ft. Grow Healthy mural at 3198 Adeline Street at Fairview in S. Berkeley. We are also grateful to Mohamed Mosleh of M and H Market for his and for his father’s cooperation with the project. Artist Pancho Pescador and many of our youth also helped with the finishing touches making the project ready for installation.

YSA thanks the Bernard and Alba Witkin Fdn., the Chamberlin Family Fund, SF Fdn Koshland Program and FAITHS Initiative, the Alafi Family Fdn., Walgreens Corporation, the Berkeley Association of Realtors, the UC Chancellor’s Community Partnership Fund, and Dreyers Corp. for their grant support making the mural possible. We thank our donors special donors Kiwi Pediatrics, Priscilla Phelps, Allan Cadgene and Daniel Sawislak for their support!

We thank artists Jose Gonzalez, Morgan DeLorenzo, Jackie Scott, Chris Henderson and Christian Leon Guerrero, as well as Pancho Pescador and Alfonso Jaramillo for their efforts designing the mural. We thank many of our youth artists who participated, including Shanice Kiel, Jasmain Johnson, Tiff Banks, Shavella Stephenson, and Skittles Tolbert for their assistance.

We thank the many South and West Berkeley neighborhood residents who painted tiles as part of this project, the children of Malcolm X School, local religious congregation members, children and families at Juneteenth Festival, and Rosa Parks School, among them.

We are deeply grateful to our Assoc. Director, Rev. Sarah Moldenhauer-Salazar for all of her support and energy supporting and encouraging this work.

We are grateful to volunteers Cailin Shannon, Danny Hellebusch and Susan Putney for their efforts making the project possible. We thank Margaret Norman and BHS for helping us fire tiles for free.

Lastly, this project would not have been possible without the support of YSA former and current board members: Maheesh Jain, Nishan Ardon, Lauren Snider Brandt and Lila McDonald, as well as Rev. Alexandra Childs, Rev. Kurt Kuhwald, Ryk Groetchen, Dawline Oni-Eseleh, Stephen McElroy, Sheila Thomas, Rev. Susan Conrad, Poncho Jaramillo Mancini and Navneet Govil.

YSA will hold the unveiling for our mural on Sat. March 24th at 1pm at the mural site–3198 Adeline at Fairview. All are welcome to enjoy snacks, speeches, live music, and continued work involved in health education as we celebrate our mural with the community.

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