Depicting What Justice Looks Like

This week’s blog post is another report updating the evolution of the mural, Reimagining a Just World — that is being created in our Center’s lobby in a collaboration between the Center and arts organization, Precita Eyes Muralists. Keep reading to learn more about the significance behind each section of the design, imagined by the Mural  Design Committee made up of  McCarthy Center students, staff, faculty and community partners.

In this mural we start from the left side as it winds down and around to the right. We begin with native Ohlone patterns, belonging to the first peoples of what is now the San Francisco peninsula. The patterns point up to the night sky and the Golden Gate bridge with an ominous glow of the moon upon the fog. This represents the unknown or the lack of clarity that we all have when beginning a journey. 


From that mist we see the Civic Center lit up in a rainbow representing the diversity of views and peoples of the San Francisco community. Rushing out of City Halls is a rainbow of people of many races and heritages as the march peacefully  into the world to spread the news of a more just society. They are waving signs, beating drums, singing, and making their voices heard. They are holding a large banner with a universal message of peace and love: Love is the Revolution.  

In the center of the composition there is a large tree filled with books, an old tree of wisdom and  ancestral knowledge. This tree with its branches, roots and canopy are a metaphor for this wisdom flowing in all directions and strongly rooted to the earth and time. In this tree, we see a black panther. This represents the Bay Area’s history of social justice movements and its fierce and powerful influence for change.

To the right of this tree, there are jazz players representing The Fillmore’s deep musical history.  They are also acting as pied pipers leading the people towards a different path.  In the distance we see many paths all leading towards the top of the mountain and into the light. Like life there is more than one way to reach our destinations. The journey begins in darkness of the night and leads us to more clarity and daylight as we move closer to our goals.

On the far right we see a coyote, which is native to this urban environment. Like many in our community the coyote symbolizes survival and resilience in an ever-changing landscape.  In the lower left corner, there is a rose growing and flowering out of a crack in the sidewalk and again reinforcing the idea of thriving in a modern world of machinery and industry that literally paves over our natural state of life. 

The mural is expected to be completed by the end-of-month with an official unveiling and dedication to be scheduled in the coming semester. The mural will be open to the public during the Center’s official hours. Please email or contact the Center to confirm.

Learn more about the mural’s evolution in earlier blog post.

See more coverage of mural’s creating in the SF Foghorn and USF News

Collective Impactcommunity engaged learningCommunity PartnersEsther Madriz Diversity ScholarsFillmoreMo'MAGICPrecita Eyes Muralists

Leo T. McCarthy Center • October 12, 2021

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