Design for (2010) May 1st Marches! From gang injunctions in North Oakland to SB 1070 in AZ our communities are fed up with Racial Profiling, scapegoating and laws that contribute to white privilege! Ya Basta! Enough is Enough! One Struggle.
We collaborated on creating this print with our friends at Movement Generation Justice and Ecology Project. The Movement Generation Justice & Ecology Project provides in-depth information and analysis about the global ecological crisis and facilitates strategic planning for action among leading organizers from urban Bay Area organizations working for economic and racial justice in communities of color. Their work has expanded to include the integration of an ecological lens onto existing work within organizations, as well as ongoing work to develop shared strategies that harness the collective power of participating organizations to advance an urban justice based approach to ecology.
This is a print we were commissioned to create for the opening of a youth center in Richmond. RYSE.
RYSE emerged out of the needs articulated by local youth organizers after the tragic killing of four high school students in December 2000. The deaths galvanized youth and adult allies to address the root causes of violence in and around their communities. In 2002, Youth Together, a community based leadership development and educational justice organization organized a “Youth Speak Out Against Violence” forum to acknowledge the experiences and insights of young people in the community. Youth voiced their views on the causes of, and potential solutions to, the violence experienced and acted out by youth. Young people pointed to problems including inadequate educational resources and insufficient employment opportunities. Most frequently, however, local youth articulated a lack of “things to do” as a root cause of youth violence.
In the following months, Youth Together conducted a community-wide survey to gather information about resources needed in the community. Of the 1,500 surveys that were completed across West County, 100% of youth surveyed indicated a need for positive youth activities, after school programming and supportive and safe places “to hang out.” Young people expressed the need for programming in the afternoon and evening that was culturally relevant and that included art, cultural and social activities as well as resources and support for current and future education and jobs.
In late 2005, almost three years after the survey was published and after dozens of presentations to public officials and agencies on the identified need for such space, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia identified a 6,600 square foot vacant county building in Richmond near a major bus line and County Health Center. In partnership with City, County, School District, community, and youth partners, Supervisor Gioia and Youth Together spearheaded a three-year effort to plan and secure resources for the building’s conversion into a comprehensive youth center.
As a core operating principle, RYSE is committed to maintaining safety for the full diversity of youth we serve so they are able to take healthy risks emotionally, politically, and physically. We hold youth and adults accountable for upholding each other’s safety while participating in Youth Center services and activities. We also encourage our community members to keep our communities safe for our participants. We understand that safety needs change, evolve and will look different for different youth populations. We will continue to assess, plan and ally with youth to develop a safety plan address these various needs.
Xicana Moratorium Day Flyer for 2011. Jesus designed using photos I shot during the anti-gang injunctions rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza. In 2011, the event will be held in Oakland. For more info visit here
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza (Los Barraza Cervantes) 20" x 26" 6-Color, Handprinted, screenprint Print, Archival Covetry Rag Paper, Printed in San Leandro, CA 2007
A collaborative print designed by Melanie and Jesus, this poster was created to celebrate the Zapatista Women and the EZLN Women’s Revolutionary Laws. Half of the edition was donated to Collective Zapatista Ramona to support fundraising.
Jesus and I travelled to Detroit, the summer of 2010, to attend the US Social Forum. We decided we wanted to create a special print to take with us. As we talked about what we were excited participating in or listening to it was clear-we both felt great promise in the Excluded Workers Congress. We talked about how racist and classist it is for certain sectors to be exluded from the Depression era-National Labor Relations Act. These excluded workers have decided that enough is enough and that they should have their right to organize recognized/expanded.
The members of the Excluded Worker Congress are national networks of organizations that represent a base of workers that are either by law or by practice excluded from the right to organize in the United States. They are also regional networks and individual organizations in industries where there is no national network. Every network represents a different industry, sector, or kind of work. They recognize that not every sector is nationally represented and strive to increase representation in those sectors.
Domestic Workers Alliance by Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza 11" x 17" poster and sticker Offset, Printed in San Leandro CA 2009
"Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) is a grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women with a dual mission of personal transformation and community power. Creating an environment of understanding and confidentiality, MUA empowers and educates our members through mutual support and training to be leaders in their own lives and in the community. Working with diverse allies, MUA promotes unity and civic-political participation to achieve social justice."
We were honored to create this poster for the National Domestic Worker Congress by Mujeres Unidas y Activas, they were founding members of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Their work here in the Bay area is very inspiring, It is a great to see women standing together to create better working conditions in their community. More inspiring is that people are standing together to make this organzing happen at a national level to create a Domestic Worker Bill of rights.
Domestic Workers Organize Not into unions -- federal labor law prohibits domestic workers from forming unions -- but into the National Alliance of Domestic Workers. And the first thing they want is a "Domestic Worker Bill of Rights." (Washington Post)
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza of Dignidad Rebelde and Da Town Graphics 20" x 26"
3-Color Screen Print, Printed in Oakland, CA 2009
"We strongly believe that our future is in the hands of the young folks."-Mutulu Shakur
This print was created when Jesus and I worked with Oakland's Spanish Speaking Citizen's Foundation with several Raza youth ages 12 to 17 to conduct five workshops on how to develop political posters. The weeklong series of workshops acted as an alternative Spring Break . During this period the students met and worked with us, Xican@ community artists, to learn about the history of political posters as developed within the context of social justice movements, learned the steps in developing a poster and created posters of their own that reflect their values and interests.
We had a vary focused group that was determined to finish their posters and put as much thought and time into them as possible. The youth also designed individual posters on topics that they felt passionate about.The poster topics ranged from calls for universal health care, demands to stop ICE raids, a declaration of Indigenaity and a call to end racism.
All of the students that were in a class worked as one in order design this poster the the May 1st Migrant Mobilizations.
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza 20" x 26" 4-Color, Handprinted, Mohawk Archival Paper, Printed in San Le- andro CA 2009 On February 2, 1848, a Mexican delegation ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, with Mexico accepting the Rio Grande as the Texas border and ceding almost half its territory (which incorpo- rated the present day-states of California, New Mexico, Nevada, and parts of Colorado, Arizona, Utah and even Oklahoma) to the United States in return for $15 million.Cervantes and Barraza collaborated on designing the promotional flyers and a com- memorative screen printed poster for the annual Bay Area Treaty of Guadalupe “remembrance” event organized by the grassroots group Huaxtec. $30
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza (Los Barraza Cervantes) Digital Image, 2009
On January 23rd, Annette Garcia, a mother of three, was shot to death by Riverside Sheriffs after they received calls that she was suicidal and under duress due to a marriage dispute. Reports by the family and witnesses state that she "posed no harm to the officers involved, yet she was shot at six times until a bullet hit her in the back as she tried to run for cover." It took over an hour to get medical attention and Annette Garcia died in the arms of her children.
This is the third in a series of graphics to remember those lives stolen by police brutality.
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza (Los Barraza Cervantes) 26" x 20" 1 color Handprinted, Screen Print , New Leaf Archival Paper, Printed in Oakland, CA 2009 and 3 Color Digital Graphic
Oscar Grant is only one of many stolen lives in Oakland. Once we created the poster about OScar Grant, the family of a young Native man who was killed by Oakland police felt compelled to connect the deaths and have a visual that memorialized their son, Andrew Moppin.
We were invited to print posters, live, at the community forum the Oakland Intertribal Frienship House held in response to the continued police brutality as made light by the recent shooting of Oscar Grant.
We printed dozens of posters and gave them to all the community members at the forum includings Andrew's family and his niece who was just a baby in the poster.
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza (Los Barraza Cervantes) 20" x 26" 1 color Handprinted, Screen Print , New Leaf Archival Paper, Printed in San Leandro, CA 2009 and 3 Color Digital Graphic
Early New Year's Day in the Fruitvale District of Oakland, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police murdered unarmed, 22 -year old, Oscar Grant III by pushing him face down to the ground and shooting him in the back. After he was shot he was handcuffed. The shooting was fatal.
Having come of age in Los Angeles during the uprisings that followed the Rodney King verdict- this incidence of violence enacted by the State rings eerily familiar.
For me this is a crystal clear example of how racism is alive and well in the United States. People would like to think that because Barack Obama has been elected president that some how we, as a nation, are "post-race". What really irritates me about this line of thinking it the conflation of race and racism. One is a category another is an active force that impacts real people's lives.
The fact that racism probably had a huge role in Oscar Grant's death chills my bones. The practices of the police continue to demonstrate this: the way they are trained, the way stereotypes and profiling are reinforced institutionally and how little-to-no accountability the police have with communities of color. These communities are instead terrorized by the police.
Jesus Barraza and I (Melanie Cervantes) collaboratively developed this poster and drew a connection between the violence enacted domestically by transit police in Oakland and Israeli occupying forces (and their attacks which have kiiled hundreds of Gazans including many women and children.)
We created hundres of 1-color posters that we gave out at the protests and community actions as picket signs and gifts to Oscar Grant's family. We also helped tell Oscar Grant's story to people all over the world by using social networking venues like Facebook and Myspace to circulate the digital image.
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza (Los Cervantes Barraza) 20" x 26" 2-Color, Handprinted, Screenprint,Archival Acid Free New Leaf Heavyweight Matte paper , Printed in Oakland, CA 2008 A collaboration between Jesus Barraza and Melanie Cervantes this print features an illustration of a blissful pregnant woman caressing her belly and the life growing inside. The woman is juxtaposed against the Earth and the two are surrounded by rays emanating from the woman and the Earth. The text reads “All Life is Sacred, Protect Mother Earth”. $30
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza Offset poster , Printed in Mexico City, 2008
While visiting and working in Ecatepec in October of 2008 the three collectives participating in this exchange were given the opportunity to participate in an amazing campaign. The three collectives include the Taller Tupac Amaru (Jesus and I as well Favianna),Yo What Happened to Peace and Just Seeds Collective. There has been an effort to openly declare art and culture as human rights in Ecatepec.
You can see our poster design here. We decided to include photos of the people we met in Ecatepec in the poster in order to give people in Ecatepec a mirror to see themselves. We also used the slogan 'la cultura cura' that is widely popular in Xican@ country to emphasize how culture healths and contributes toward wellness. The posters will be reproduced in editions of 1000 and will be wheat pasted through out Ecatpec by the Komal Collective (great new allies) a national collective of street artists who engage in political art interventions regularly.
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza Digital Print, 2007
Jesus and I collaborated on creating a poster for a coalition called Tierra y Libertad in Arizona. We met organizers from the organization while eating pozole at a fundraiser for Colective Zapatista Ramona's effort to raise funds for the Cucapa people. It was a super quick turn around. I did the illustrations and Jesus did the design. It's not my best work but it was well intentioned.
Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza 17" x 22" Giclee, Matte Heavyweight Paper, Printed in San Leandro, CA 2008 The ceremonial dances of indigenous people are cultural affirma- tions and acts of resistance which articulate the peoples relation- ship to the land. This piece juxtaposes a Pomo dancer, a Mexica danzante and a Hawai’ian hula dancer and was made to support the 2007 Indigenous People’s Night of Resistance at UC Berkeley. $35