An overview of the projects we’ve completed in conjunction with SCAPE: Sonoma County Artists Propelling Equity.
For The People: Celebrating Dmitra Smith
This mural celebrates the fierce Sonoma County activist-Dmitra Smith.
D’mitra Smith is the former Chair of the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights, serving from 2012 to August 1, 2020. She was the program manager for the Junior Commission, having mentored over 100 Sonoma County students between 2013- 2020. Smith is a co-founder of the essential workers’ mutual aid collective Food for All – Comida para Todos, and Save Your VI, providing education and advocacy for civil rights protections guaranteed to students nationwide.
She is the author of the first county report on racial discrimination in Sonoma County schools and co-author of “Human Rights Violations in Santa Rosa: Policing the Black Lives Matter Protests”. She has worked with the California Association of Human Relations Organizations, Congressional Black Caucus Education and Workforce Committee, California NAACP, San Jose State University Human Rights Institute, Southern Poverty Law Center, John Marshall Law School, and the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights.
It was an honor to share the work of someone so deserving of recognition.
We worked with our usual Santa Rosa crew along with some wonderful new additions from the around the local neighborhood.
A Tapestry of Our People: Social Justice on the Streets (Part of Santa Rosa’s Open and Out Initiative)
This series of portraits and street paints are geared towards tying together the history and the present of BIPOC in Sonoma County. Each colorful “mandala” represents the journey of a community, including their struggles, their victories, and where they stand today.
A complete analysis of the meanings behind the patterns can be found on our Instagram post:
Surrounding these tapestries, we have vertical portraits of BIPOC activists, healers, artists, teachers- individuals who have made positive impacts and whose stories are not often told. Featured are: Ana Salgado, Tre Vasquez, Delashay, Rafael Vasquez, DeVin Ariel, Kimmie Barbosa, Tavy Tornado, and Marcus Red Bear.
The tapestries and composition were designed by Rima Makaryan and painted with the support of dozens of volunteers. These portraits were painted by a collection of local artists including but not limited to Feven Zewdi, Adonis, Keviette Minor, and Matt Goff.
Trinity Mural Completed! Now at Three Disciples Brewing in Downtown Santa Rosa:
The first of our SCAPE projects, the Trinity Mural depicts three BIPOC Sonoma County activists who have left their mark on our community. Learn about each of them below and DONATE to help more projects like this happen!
Bernice Espinoza: Her life long dedication to social justice has led her activism, advocacy, a career in law, and even poetry -all of which center on the social justice issues close to her heart (particularly immigration, racial justice, and criminal justice reform). Bernice was a Sonoma County Deputy Public Defender who specializes in those issues that arise from the intersection of criminal and immigration law. Previously, she worked in the Riverside County Public Defender’s officer for 7 years, where she created and oversaw the Crim Imm program. Ms. Espinoza graduated with her law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall. As a student, she participated in the California Asylum Representation Clinic (CARC) providing representation at all stages of the asylum application process for refugees and worked at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). Today, she works at Secure Families of Sonoma County. Bernice has been writing since she was 11 years old and has 3 published poems.
She derives her purpose from her faith and the community she serves. Her belief that she can always try to use her educational privilege and resources to serve others is what sustains her through challenging times.
Joy Ayodele: An eighteen-year-old activist, Joy captured the attention of our city and county by leading protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement after the nationwide resurgence following the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless more. Joy gathered the hundreds of youth of our county through her group, WWAFF (What We Are Fighting For), and took on the streets of Santa Rosa through peaceful protests. Since then she has continued to lead conversations around race and helped push the county to adopt an ethnic studies course that will begin instruction in the coming years to eventually become a requirement.
Rose Hammock: Rosie is described as a leader and “a pillar in the indigenous community” of Sonoma County, in the Pomo Tribe, which has been living on the land that is presently known as Sonoma County for centuries. A part of her work is about outreach, helping non-indigenous folks understand the traditional Pomo ways of life, while another is helping her own community. She has acted as an educator to help preserve and pass on knowledge to future generations through dance, presentations, and more. She’s taught herself the parts of the Pomo language and helped teach it to others. Traditional Pomo dancing is an important part of her life since the age of eleven, a community representative for MMIW. As far back as she can remember, promoting the positive values of her culture has been an important part of Rose’s life. In her freshman year at Elsie Allen High School, she started a Native American club and led it for three years. Her goal was to challenge stigma and misunderstanding about the Native American culture and to share her values while bringing people together. She shared her traditions and brought in cultural dances, baskets, and jewelry, so other students could see the positive values of her culture.
Learn More About Us
Below you can find out more information about SCAPE, (like what it stands for!) see progress pictures, and learn about how YOU can help more of these projects take place! Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Monarch Project is happy to host a SCAPE mural project: Sonoma County Artists Propelling Equity. Below is a brief description of the group and their mission:
We are a grassroots collective featuring BIPOC community artists. Our goal is to create public art in Sonoma County that challenges all systems of oppression.
We want to uproot and expose the unhealthy greed, fear, and hatred that has been used to keep people from joining together and rising up. We want to decolonize the broken-down system that serves the ruling class and restructure a new way of life. We want to repaint imagery of community power that reveals the true beauty and innate intelligence of diversity.
Our community is crying out for social and political change. If you want to be a part of that change and would like to see social justice art in Sonoma County there are several ways you can help:
Please let us know if you have access to a public space that our mural(s) could go up on: storefronts, libraries, schools, etc, essentially any big wall we would be able to paint on. Please let us know if you have access to such spaces!
The work of some of our artists can be found at @fevzzz on Instagram and our website shows a lot of the work of the Monarch Project. If you are a BIPOC or immigrant artist who is interested in contributing, please email us at email@example.com. Once an official design or set of designs is confirmed we will be post it on this page.
We greatly appreciate your generosity in helping us take this step towards uprooting injustice in order to ensure our community is a safe and welcoming home for all BIPOC, all who are undocumented and all LGBTQI+ folks.