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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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Mother Wright of Oakland: Love in Action

The ripple effect of her love continues to be felt by the suffering everywhere. They know there was a woman named Mary Ann Wright who gave her life for them.

Inmates Forced to Tear Down Camps of Homeless

Prisoners are paid a dollar a day to clear the homeless camps where they once lived. Some officials call this penal labor “a vestige of slavery.”

Boycotts Close Restaurants Owned by Duke Supporters

One way to fight back against the hate being spread around by the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and white supremacists is by exposing the supporters of hate and violence in the United States. Carson’s stories have led to boycotts and closures of restaurants owned by Duke supporters.

Four Decades of Resistance to Duke’s Racism

The hatred and violent racism of white supremacist groups is written plainly for everyone to see. It is inexcusable that Trump has been unwilling to take a stand against right-wing extremists. And it is heartening to see widespread repudiation of everything the KKK and neo-Nazis stand for.

Considering the Best Ways to “Kick Nazi Ass”

SNCC members in the Bay Area are capable of telling their stories of personal sacrifice and nonviolent organizing — undeniably one of the greatest American stories ever told. Their insights into nonviolence can be shared with those who wonder what might be more powerful than makeshift shields from Home Depot.

Hidden Crisis of Homelessness on Tribal Lands

Large U.S. cities are known for high rates of homelessness. The housing emergency on tribal lands is hidden, but just as devastating. Housing shortages and evictions have created a quiet crisis of homelessness for Native Americans. The Trump administration plans to slash housing funding to Native American tribes.