Wall Words: 
Paint Don't Wait
Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project
Last Wednesday on February 5th from 1:30 to 4PM, ABC 7, KTVU Channel 2, The Oakland Tribune, and KGO Radio all came to the mural to capture the conceptual designers from the Eagle Village Afterschool Program at Westlake Middle School help paint and watch local artists bring their superheroes to life on the grand scale.

Mural Conceptual Designers, Westlake Middle School students, being interviewed by ABC 7 News 
Attitudinal Healing Connection
Lead Artist, Refa Dennis, being interviewed by ABC 7 News, while painting

February 11, 2014

KTVU 2 capturing local artist, Sage-Sydney Cain, mixing paint 
West Lake Middle School students helping bring their mural to life!

The coverage on the Oakland Super Heroes Mural Project is spreading like wildfire, even in the rain! The excitement and appreciation, both within and outside of the West Oakland community, continue to powerfully reinforce the impact of the mural and the work that needs to be done to better serve Oakland youth. By empowering them to creatively envision a safer, integrated, just, and supportive environment, we make them more capable to build that kind of a reality in their own lives.


By transforming these spaces which were previous sites of litter, graffiti, and homelessness, into visual expressions of life, passion, imagination, and love, passerbys and community members become transformed as well. Lead artist, Refa Dennis, eloquently stated that, "our visual landscape has a serious impact on how we think, how we see ourselves, and how we treat each other". The take-aways for the Westlake Middle Schoolers as well as the community is huge. These murals give a new sense of pride to be from West Oakland.


Click on the link below to watch the ABC 7 news coverage and stay tuned to listen to the KGO Radio news coverage in our next newsletter, Wall Words: Concrete Canvas!




Local artist, Javier Rocabado, working on one of the Super Heroes

Rain or shine, the artists have been dedicated to their work since day one. They are outside working on the mural every day, toughing the cold, wind, and wet weather conditions. 


This effort has been exhibited by everyone involved in the project. The energy and intention is extremely impressive considering the difficult context in which many of the participants live on a daily basis. 


This is truly an amazing process, where Oakland locals, both young and old, can see people that look like themselves, immortalized and reminding them of the joy of living and light in life. 


The mural captures a story involving 4 superheroes; one with golden
butterfly tattoos that "protect the unprotected"; another with a flower power
necklace which, when glowing, transforms neglected parks into "beautiful
oases"; another with a magic beanie that creates windows into the future to
inspire change in destructive and violent behavior; and yet another with the
ability to both call upon all the animals of the Bay Area to clean pollution and
also play an instrument called the "saxalin" which, when heard, removes all
drug addiction in the area. 
Westlake Middle School Student, Betsy Fikir, being interviewed by ABC 7
The depth of these characters and stories exposes the understanding that 
these Oakland youth have in areas such as diversity, ownership and
responsibility in the community, environmentalism, values, importance of
ancestry and family, support systems, and friendship. In the story, these
characters experience death, vandalism, harassment, disrespect, peer
pressure, displacement, and other forms of hardship and undergo a
transformation to serve their community. 

Help us restore hope and positively transform Oakland from the inside out by making a donation today! Stay tuned for our next update and newsletter, Wall Words: Concrete Canvas!



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