Macdonald Avenue mural reimagines cop-community relations
on September 20, 2019
Richmond’s Police Activities League (RPAL) recently unveiled a new, colorful mural, titled “After Mentoring,” created by local youth participating in the organization’s outreach programs.
The lively mural, which covers the side of RPAL’s building on 2200 Macdonald Avenue, was painted by artists Rebecca Garcia-Gonzalez and Ximena Soza. Teens, or “youth ambassadors,” participating in RPAL’s outreach program assisted these artists with the piece. The project embodies the league’s mission to “provide a safe and nurturing environment for youth” through recreational, cultural, and social activities.
Founded in 1982, RPAL is a nonprofit community-based organization designed to offer youth aged 10 to 18 “an alternative to the streets” for a meal, activities after school or help with homework, according to its website.
The mural’s background is a colorful collage of bright colors, with diverse, interlocked shapes. The foreground features scenes of Richmond youth and local law enforcement building positive relationships and a stronger community.
These scenes embody RPAL’s ongoing efforts to foster positive relationships between police officers and the community, particularly adolescents.
“The mural epitomizes RPAL’s mission of bringing cops and kids together for mutual respect and understanding,” Officer Larry Lewis, Executive Director of RPAL, told Richmond Confidential.
The piece encourages Richmond’s youth to become “more comfortable” and “seek advice” from officers and to continue building positive relationships within the community, Lewis explained.
Interim Chief of Police Bisa French told Richmond Confidential that the mural’s “bright colors and representation of positive police and community interactions has a direct correlation to the great efforts RPAL is involved in.”
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