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My Art Makes My Life Matter

“I create art as a way to bring love and faith to people who face hardship. My art is offered to uplift people who strive to overcome oppression. My art is for people who find strength and unity in our community’s historic and endless struggle for justice.” — Leon Kennedy

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Beautiful Murals Express the Soul of Humanity

The murals that young artists have created in Berkeley are a deep expression of their humanity and spirit. Prophetic art expresses their deepest feelings about gentrification and displacement, public health and social justice.

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Oakland Artist’s Statement Piece on Homelessness

This artwork is a reminder of the beauty of humanity that connects all of us, whether housed or not. A real standout in Schuyler’s “Cophinus” were the words the artist chose to place on the cart’s push-handle: “THANK YOU.” Imagine these words facing a homeless person pushing the cart, every day.

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On the Streets, Under the Trees

David Bacon’s photographs of homeless people in cities and rural areas were born out of his commitment to social justice. They capture the uphill struggle for survival faced by millions living in the virtually invisible landscape of poverty.

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Street Spirit’s Partnership with Dogtown Redemption

Dogtown Redemption takes us on a journey through a landscape of love and loss, devotion and addiction, prejudice and poverty. The story of the three recyclers—Jason, Landon and Hayok—provides a rare glimpse into the conflicts over race, class and space shaping Oakland and other American cities.

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Celebrating Frances Townes’ Lifelong Work with Homeless People

Frances Townes used her creative talents to support faith-based love for ALL our neighbors, including our homeless neighbors. Frances was a giant role model in how to live one’s faith through spirited actions seeking justice and loving kindness. Frances never retired from her deep concern for the lives of those less fortunate!

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The Lifelong Creativity of Berkeley Artist Eve Pageant

When I visited her home studio, the sheer numbers of her art pieces astounded me. Every wall was covered with her paintings, and shelves were filled with her sculptures. Her art ranged from fabulous human figure sculptures to sculptural reliefs to oil paintings to drawings, the best artwork I’d ever seen.

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Youth Spirit Artworks: More Than a Paintbrush

It’s hard to quantify the values of hope and beauty. How do you measure what happens to someone creating art for the first time? YSA’s mission is to use art and jobs training to transform the lives of low-income and homeless youth to ensure that they meet their full potential.

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Artist’s Portraits Reveal the Human Faces in Our Midst

I realized that bringing them to life in drawings was quite unique, seeming to have more joy in it than I’d ever experienced before. Walter was delighted. Nate always greets me now with a thankful smile. Donald, the very gentle one, spoke proudly and warmly when pondering his portrait.

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A Life Consecrated to Compassion and Justice

On the bleak streets of the Tenderloin, a sister took a stand against inhumanity. Her solidarity was inspired by the beatitudes and consecrated to the poor.

The Invisible Natural Cathedral of People’s Park

Builders, please go away. Allow the beauty of an Invisible Natural Cathedral to remain, a living shrine of open space that gives refuge to all people.

Street Spirit Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin

This atrocity was happening in a very wealthy city. It was happening right under our noses. It was very visible. And there was not the united voice of the faith community speaking out. That was the spark of Religious Witness. From that moment, I knew what I had to do.

Interview with Sister Bernie Galvin, Part Two

“What’s forming in my mind is Jesus in the temple when he became angry at the unjust and very exclusive systems of society. That is the very reason that there are the poor and the marginalized. It is not enough just to provide food, clothing and housing.”

‘Such Is the Magic and Spirit of People’s Park’

The mayor has no understanding of the awful defeat the loss of People’s Park would be. No comprehension of the cost in lives and the sacrifices people have made for the Park’s ideals. So many still find it a refuge in a country needing a political and spiritual overhaul.

I Remember Who I Am

“And Now Where?” Lithograph by Rockwell Kent

By and by, I calm down. I meditate. I pray. It is a beautiful day. The sun is setting. I weave my way toward the spot where I sleep, where nobody knows where to find me. I look to the stars, and say my prayers to the God who believes in Me.