The Women of Brownsville: Telling Our Story

  • Women are the backbone of the community and they should be recognized for their invaluable contributions—past, present, and future.
  • The color palette features beautiful pinks and grays.
  • The mural in progress brings the women to life.
  • Everyone was moved at the dedication by the strength of this mural.
  • The team identified women’s contributions to community activism while affirming their own power and strength.
  • This bus stop has been transformed by these empowered young women.

Project Description

The artist team behind this project, consisting of only women, explored the hidden treasures of Brownsville’s industrious women leaders through “The Women of Brownsville: Telling Our Story.” This mural was created as part of “Transform/Restore: Brownsville,” an initiative launched with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) through its national Our Town. To create this message, the youth women participated in an intensive artistic training, presented with the support of the New York City Council through its STARS Citywide Girls Initiative.
Purples, violets, pinks, and a calm sunset yellow combine for the color palette of this inspiring mural. “The Women of Brownsville: Telling Our Story” centers on a large book opening to reveal three portraits of Brownsville women, haloed by a light of inspiration. To their left, Brownsville buildings stand strong and tall. Two hands create the shape of a cracked heart with a bandage over the wound, illustrating the need to end then heal violence against women. The words “We are…” hang to the right of the women. From this prompt comes empowering answers, such as “entrepreneurs,” “artists,” “protectors,” and “fighters.”
“Since we began envisioning the ‘Transform/Restore: Brownsville’ mural series, Groundswell took care to understand the valuable contributions of every member of the Brownsville community,” said Groundswell Executive Director Amy Sananman about the mural. “With the inclusion of the STARS Citywide Girls Initiative, this project can continue that vision by addressing experiences that can often be overlooked even in the most progressive of movements: the experiences of women of color. This mural celebrates the agency of Brownsville’s powerful women through using art as a tool of social change.”
Download educational curriculum (pdf)

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Project Info

Fun Facts

Suggested Activity
Write a response to the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie quote: "Show a people as one thing, as only one thing over and over again, and that is what they become."
The images are all framed with a series of crisscrossed arms grasping each other in support, community, and care.
“Women must be seen in all their multiple positions: as the entrepreneurs, the volunteers, the stay-at-home mothers, the policy makers and innovators, as the educators for our Brownsville.” - Daniel Murphy, Executive Director of Pitkin Avenue BID