Outside the Community for Creative Non-Violence (CCNV), residents of the homeless shelter now have something fresh and colorful to look at: themselves. A bright new mural was completed recently, thanks to the efforts of Azita Mashayekhi, a Teamsters staffer and OPEIU Local 2 member. Mashayekhi came up with the idea after passing the shelter’s “desolate wall” during her daily commute to her job at Teamsters headquarters up the street. Mashayekhi, an artist herself, began navigating the maze of government bureaucracy and got the attention of the Murals DC Project. The mural – by D.C. artist Rose Jaffe -- shows portraits of several of the current residents and staffers at the shelter, as well as its late founder, Mitch Snyder. “People should be remembered, and that’s the least we can do, to remind people who come here that other people care,” Mashayekhi said. “Sometimes you have to go to the government and push them.” Later this month, Mashayekhi 's photography will be on display at the Great Labor Arts Exchange where she will be leading a photography workshop.
- adapted from a report by CJ Ciaramella in Street Sense