It’s no secret the UNM Women’s Resource Center welcomes and helps anyone who needs it with wide, open arms. Now, there’s a brand new mural on display which makes that message even clearer.
Right when you walk into the WRC entrance off of Mesa Vista Hall, you’ll now be greeted by bountiful arrays of color, flowers and faces.
WRC Director Áine McCarthy made this piece of art a mission to honor the center’s 50th anniversary.
“The year we were founded feels significant. To, you know, create this in honor of 50 years of history, we remember this was one of the first college-based women's centers in the country. A collective of students wanted to support advocacy,” McCarthy said.
UNM alum Jade Cruz was commissioned to create the work. While they had a vision in mind, there were certain details WRC members wanted to see emulated.
“The need for gender-based violence protection and prevention is partly why the center was founded and why it's still here. We wanted to make sure that it had the message of Inclusivity to people of all genders and sexualities,” McCarthy said.
In addition to the year the center was founded, you’ll find bright colors, a butterfly, the color stripes of the inclusive pride flag, a transgender symbol and a message: ‘our bodies, our minds, our power.’
“It’s partially like drawing on the roots of the feminist movement, and our inspirations, ancestors or our predecessors to give us strength because a lot of the battles that started in 1972, we're still fighting,” McCarthy said.
A big feature of the mural is a flower that has long since been special to the WRC: sunflowers.
“That’s also just a really cool kind of coincidence. Sunflowers have been an important symbol to a few of us working here. We found out that a previous director also decorated the center with sunflowers for many years,” McCarthy said.
In addition to a diverse set of faces on the mural, representative of the diverse population the WRC serves, there are a specific set of book titles equally representative of the causes the WRC fights for.
That includes classics from Angela Davis, bell hooks and others including Radical Reproductive Justice, All About Love, This Bridge Called My Back, The Indigenous People’s History of the United States and Colonize This!
“That's a recognition that reproductive justice isn't just an issue that affects cis women or just white women, it affects people of all genders and identities and is a movement led by women of color in many ways. Having health care, rights, support, choice, child care and bodily autonomy and gender affirming support relates to all,” McCarthy said.
No matter the features purveyors identify with, there’s something in the mural for everyone.