October’s RPE Spotlight featured Valley Crisis Close to Home organizers, Lluvia and Anabel, who shared about their community beautification project in Planada.  Lluvia and Anabel, along with members of their Close to Home groups, painted a mural along a 125-foot fence line in Planada to bring awareness to sexual and intimate partner violence and to build a greater sense of community in divisive times. Topics of this 33-minute spotlight include how the organization and the community developed the idea of the mural together, the value of artistic expression in preventing sexual violence, and how the community beautification project spawned a campaign for domestic violence awareness month. Additionally, Lluvia and Anabel share a video they made documenting the process as well as some stories from along the way.

“When we first did they survey, most of the community members said the sheriffs did not care for them – that they were racist, that they didn’t care, that most of them are white – they feel that the sheriffs are here because it’s a punishment for them, for the white officers to come work in Planada. That’s how they see it. [One of the participants] said ‘I can have someone here from the sheriff’s department within ten minutes’ and I was like ‘if you can make it happen, go for it.’ I kid you not, within ten, fifteen minutes we had someone painting the side of the fence. It turned out to be that the detective from the sheriff’s department is her sister, and she’s excellent at drawing…Like I said, we build partnerships and we find out things from the community, from members, that have been here for so many years and they were happy that it was a new change. It was a positive thing for them.” – Lluvia Cervantes

If you missed the October RPE Spotlight, you can watch the recording HERE or follow up with Lluvia at lluvia@alliance4you.org  or Anabel at anabel@alliance4you.org