Archive for July, 2010

Kids paint flower pots and make piñatas @ Open Studios!

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

On Thursday, MMAP opened its doors to the community to teach kids how to paint flower pots, plant flowers, and make pinatas!
The children learned the cultural significance of piñatas, as well as the importance of flowers to our environment!

Children taking the time to paint their flower pots before the planting phase!


Sophie teaches little Victor how to properly plant the flower he picked out!

Laura and Victoria, MMAP Staff members, pose for a picture during a very busy art class session!

Open Studios offers art classes for kids aged 5-12 at our MMAP headquarters located at 2043 Euclid Ave, East Palo Alto, every Thursday from 1:00-3:00 PM. Please come join us!

TMP Explores Art!

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Today was a crucial day for TMP teens as they prepare for Friday’s Design Workshop. We reviewed the 10 steps of mural making using James Chitty’s rhyme and beat – we caught the teens on video and will be posting it shortly! Teens rotated through three art stations learning graffiti lettering from resident graf experts, Troy and Zaid. They created collages to investigate the concept of symbolism, and they painted exploring color theory. The visual inspiration was flowing – check out the pictures below!

In the color wheel station, newcomers like Christian and the rest of the teens learned about primary, secondary and complimentary colors. They also got a little taste as to how to use a paintbrush.

Veteran Zaid Vargas teaches newcomer Tony Salinas a little bit about grafitti art and styles.

Getting a view of the talent of veteran teen artist Troy Davis.

Monique uses her knowledge of symbolism to make a collage on her views on leadership!

No doubt we will only see amazing ideas from all these teens on Friday!

“L-E-A-D, yea that spells lead!”

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010


After today’s TMP session in EPA City Hall, Leslie Gray shared a hot verse he wrote inspired by the in-depth research and interviews conducted throughout the program thus far.

Leading Through Social Entrepreneurship!

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Zach Pogue visited TMP for an interview on leadership and how it can be accomplished through new media and technology. Zach Pogue also shared his ambitious endeavors to create a more sustainable campus for American University. The teens were undoubtedly inspired by Zach Pogue’s advice to take risks and lead by example.

Students applaud Zach Pogue after learning of his initiatives in the technological and environmental fields.

TMP with Zach Pogue after an interesting interview, where he gave many useful and creative ideas to be included in our upcoming mural!

TMP Teens Defend/Prosecute BP CEO in Mock Trial!

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

After researching the current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, TMP students were split up into 3 prosecution attorney groups and 3 defense attorney groups in the (mock) trial case for BP CEO Tony Hayward.

No doubt that emotions were strong during the mock trial, given the devastating effects of the oil spill on the Gulf Coast communities. Our TMP defense attorneys admitted that it was extremely difficult to be on Tony Hayward’s side, but surprisingly two groups successfully defended Mr. Hayward. The students thought extremely hard about the complexity of the issues at hand, and were able to bring in insightful thoughts about who in the end would be at fault.

Leading Through Environmental Justice & Technology

Friday, July 9th, 2010

On Wednesday we learned about the environmental problems in our East Palo Alto community, and received important tips to becoming successful leaders.

Lily Lee, program manager of the Cooley Landing Project in EPA, visited the MMAP headquarters and introduced students to ideas of environmental justice and the importance of being involved in environmental issues in their community. We look forward to working more closely with Ms. Lee as the Cooley Landing plans progress this summer!

Monique Tillman was surprised to discover how close Cooley Landing was to home, and its unfortunate history thus far. Here, TMP teens with Lily Lee outside of the MMAP office.

TMP also had the awesome opportunity to interview MMAP’s founding board president and accomplished leader, Stephen DeBerry. Listen to Stephen DeBerry as he expresses his sentiments on how the program has grown.

"He told us we can't sit around and wait for things to happen; we gotta make opportunities to get somewhere," Christian Salinas said of Stephen DeBerry's visit to TMP.

This week we have to give a shout-out to Idris Rasheed for listening to Mr. DeBerry’s advice and taking initiative by handing him his number and contact information before the interview was even over!

TMP teens Leslie Gray, Monica Magallon & Monique Tillman taking notes during the interviews. It's no wonder DeBerry was impressed.

Leading Through Justice

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

TMP teens took a trip up to the San Francisco Hall of Justice to interview the first African-American judge appointed to the Superior Court, Teri Jackson.

Jackson spoke to students of her early inspirations to become a lawyer from the movie To Kill a Mockingbird and of her interest in domestic violence cases. Jackson also talked about her motivations for being a judge and what it has required of her.

Afterwards, Jackson gave students a tour of her chambers, ending by handing them all a business card with her contact information so that after their first year of college, they can contact her for a secure internship at her office. We are sure the students not only appreciate this offer, but will also take her up on the opportunity.

Judge Jackson with TMP students at the SF Superior Court after an inspiring conversation.

In other news, TMP has also began a new competitive point system with the teens- one that will allow for mentor groups to bond more as a team, as well as reward students for their efforts in the program. With that said, all the studens who interviewed Judge Jackson received a point for going above and beyond in their professionalism.

Troy Davis asks Judge Jackson an intriguing question while at the Superior Court.

Leading Through Political Involvement

Monday, July 5th, 2010

On June 30, TMP teens interviewed leaders in the political and governmental arenas.

Stanford Law Student Matthew Haney not only spoke of his personal motivations for making some kind of change in the communities, but also of his experiences with the Obama campaign, as well as Rock the Vote and Citizen Hope- all the while explaining to the teens how they could bring about change through community involvement and political action.

“I was intrigued in how he was so involved with the Obama campaign, and especially how he helped with the ‘no texting while driving’ law,” Idris Rasheed recalls about Matthew Haney’s interview on youth involvement in politics.

Following Matt Haney’s interview, TMP students had the honor of interviewing Stanford Law Professor- and co-founder of the Stanford Law School Supreme Court Litigation Clinic- Pamela S. Karlan. Professor Karlan spoke of her experiences as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Blackmun, the issues surrounding the 2000 Presidential election, and even spoke of a few cases that have been brought up against the Supreme Court by the Litigation Clinic she helped found.

“I never knew the Supreme Court Justices had so many people review their cases before they even got to them,” Viridiana says about Professor Pamela Karlan’s experiences as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.

TMP 2010 – The start of something new!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

The summer 2010 Teen Mural Program has officially started, and with it, we welcome 27 teens – veterans and beginners – from the cities of East Palo Alto, San Francisco & Houston, TX.

This year’s 10-week program will explore the theme “The Art of Leadership,” and it will be carried out in 2 phases: the research phase followed by the art phase. Unlike previous years, this year’s teens will not only be able to transfer their research into imagery for a mural, but will also be able to voice their knowledge through hip-hop songs, spoken word, & dance.

The first week has already come and gone and following are a few snapshots of the amazing leaders in our communities the teens have had the pleasure of interviewing.

June 25, 2010: Stanford Law School Professor William Koski poses with the TMP students after an insightful interview discussing equal protection for all students in the California education system.

June 28, 2010: “I think that it was interesting when she was talking about the prison-to-school pipeline because I never thought about the role that police had in the school system,” Viridiana Magallon said about ACLU Racial Justice Project Fellow Natalia Merluzzi pictured here with TMP students.

“He told us to fight what we believed in and let our voices be heard by 'raising hell' to people who have power, “ Tony Salinas recalls from Mr. William Abram’s visit with TMP.

“I liked that he talked about the new Arizona immigration law and the way he questioned how exactly the law would not bring about racial profiling. It was good to hear the perspective of someone who was an immigrant and personally knew the challenges,” Christian Salinas said about Professor Pratheepan Gulasekaram’s interview.

Be on the lookout for updates on our upcoming interviews with local leaders, including political activists, law professors & judges – coming soon!