I spent the bulk of this beautiful summer day touring Brooklyn alongside my friends at Groundswell. For those who don't know the organization, Groundswell is a youth service/arts/community development organization that puts young people to work creating public murals. We have partnered with them on a number of such projects, including several that are currently in process in Brownsville.
These projects accomplish several goals at once. They help send the message that someone cares about the physical environment of the neighborhood. And they engage dozens of young people, many of them with a history of involvement in the criminal justice system, in positive, pro-social activities.
In addition to helping to advance our mission to reduce crime and change the life trajectories of our program participants, the murals also stand alone as beautiful works of art.
This is a shot of a mural called "Intersections Humanized" just off Pitkin Boulevard in Brownsville.
This is a fragment of a work in progress that is located on the side of a grocery store located across from a public housing development in Brownsville. Before Groundswell went to work, the wall was full of tags and peeling paint.
I met a number of artists and young people on the tour, all of whom were highly motivated to make both art and a positive contribution to their community. In this respect, they embodied the values that have made Groundswell such a good partner over the years.