In the Maryvale community there are many murals beautifully painted along our walls. The 400 foot long, Mural of Unity, located on 75th Ave. just north of Thomas, displayed portraits of civil rights leaders. It was designed to show the beauty of the cultures, giving tribute to people like Dr. Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, and Barrack Obama. However, some neighbors called the mural “graffiti” or an “eye-sore”.
A week after the Senate Bill 1070 was signed into law, the Mural of Unity was whitewashed. This showed to some artists as a testament to increased racial tensions. Several artist-activists came together and recovered all of the faces. The artists wanted to update the mural and include much more stronger images to show a deeper meaning towards the vandals. Unfortunately, the police and community were worried that the new mural would uproar the racial tensions much further. Coach Paco and neighbors returned anyways and created the new mural
Today we have the updated version, The Mural of Diversity. Some ideas that were floating around the group was to add a painting of pregnant women being handcuffed by soldiers, or an image of the Arizona flag with a swastika in the heart of the sun. Although those were very strong depictions, the final mural was toned down.
These murals have a deep meaning in them that all of us in the community can relate to and respect. They make our neighborhoods more colorful and show that we have something to stand up for.