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WICIR teen group mural project

The Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (WICIR) teen group, formally known as the Teen Empowering Advocacy Movement (TEAM), seeks funding for their spring/summer 2015 mural project.

TEAM developed in 2010 in response to needs identified by the WICIR community. It began as a support group for youth from mixed-status families impacted by immigration enforcement. The group consists of youth who are undocumented themselves and/or have experienced the detainment or deportation of a close family member.

In 2014, TEAM shifted from a therapeutic support group to an activist group focused on advocacy for fair immigration policy, as chosen by the teens. Through first learning community organizing strategies, legislative processes, public speaking skills, and effective collaboration with elected officials, the youth successfully engaged at the city and county level with immigration policy change.

After an active year of organizing and civic engagement, the teens and their adult allies identified that for 2015, TEAM needs to return to its focus as a support group and therapeutic space due to challenges faced by many of the teens. However, the teens do not want to lose momentum in their activism. Thus, to combine these two efforts, the group would like to engage in a mural project as both art activism, team-building, and art therapy.

TEAM has partnered with Dos Hermanos market in Ypsilanti as the location for their mural. The twice-a-month teen group meetings for the spring/summer 2015 will be devoted to learning about murals and Latina/o muralists, engaging in self-reflection and diversity activities, creating a collective vision, and the painting of the mural. The teens hope that the final product will be a vivid, thought-provoking representation of their community’s immigrant experience and their personal hopes and reflections.

Funded by Ann Arbor, MI (February 2015)