DETROIT – A new mural in the Brightmoor neighborhood aims to empower young women growing up there.
The artist behind the project calls it a self-esteem mural.
It’s part of a national project but the faces featured in the painting are local young girls and women.
The mural sits on Chatham Street and is made by the community for the community.
Neighbors built the wall, and a Florida artist drove up to Brightmoor to paint the four local faces in hopes of making a difference.
“This community has become so destitute we needed something to remind particular young women that ‘you’re okay,’” said community leader Kathleen Hurd.
The mural is more than just neighborhood faces. There’s a message.
“We notice you matter,” Hurd said. “And each of them needs to know that they matter.”
The bright colors and bold letters can be seen from blocks away.
Hurd has been working to bring it to her neighborhood for over a year.
“We fought so hard,” Hurd said. “We would not give up. I don’t care what the city said. We were like, ‘this is going to get done.’”
Last April, Hurd reached out to Lori Pratico, the artist behind the national mural project “Girl Noticed.” Pratico has painted more than 30 murals in 16 states across the country.
“What I really wanted to say was that we all have value,” said Pratico, Artist and Executive Director of Girl Noticed Inc. “We want girls to recognize that they have value.”
Hurd nominated three girls who grew up in the area. One of them is 22-year-old Deidre Halliburton.
“I feel humbled, honestly, that Kathleen thought of me to be a person to represent our community and for other girls to look up to,” said Halliburton.”
The mural is something she wishes she had growing up. At a time when many young people look up to celebrities, Halliburton said the mural brings a change in perspective and a sense of pride.
“It’s the same people here in your community that you can view and aspire to have help or be a mentor or help you in some kind of way,” Halliburton said.
After two weeks of building the wall and painting, the project is complete and is here for years to come.
“I’m moving away at the end of this year to South Carolina,” Hurd said. “I want to be able to someday come back and see that wall and know that it helped encourage a lot of people.”
Pratico, the artist, was so inspired by Hurd’s passion for Brightmoor that she surprised Hurd by adding her face to the mural.