Southwest Detroit artist creates murals to encourage minorities to vote

US presidential election is Nov. 3

A Metro Detroiter is using his art to encourage minorities to vote ahead of the November election.

DETROIT – This Hispanic Heritage Month, one Detroit artist is using his talent to urge minorities to vote ahead of the November election.

Freddy Diaz, also known as “South West Freddy” is creating murals all throughout Michigan in an effort to inspire others to participate in the upcoming presidential election.

The young artist from southwest Detroit has an impressive following on social media, but his mural projects are about more than garnering likes.

“It’s interesting, public art has always been important if we can use it in ways to benefit the city why not,” Diaz said. “(It) would be amazing if I could use my platform for something positive.”

The first-generation Mexican American has never registered to vote before. Freddy picked a spot in Southwest Detroit for his mural, at the corner of Joy Road and Piedmont Street, to reach other minority and first-time voters.

“I think the purpose of this message is (to) show people we have power within our voice, no matter what side we’re on or who we are voting for,” Diaz said. “We should exercise that privilege.”

Diaz has always used art to express himself, and now for the first time he’s making his voice heard as a registered voting -- and he’s hoping his murals will inspire others to do the same thing.

“I know we are living in weird times. You can vote from home, and it doesn’t have to be on November 2 or 3 -- you can vote early,” Diaz said. “I wanted to spark that conversation. I wanted this be in their neighborhood.”

The bright, bold Detroit mural is one of many in Michigan that is funded by the ACLU and an online art publisher to help encourage people to vote.

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About the Author:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism