At Piute Middle School
LA vs Hate, the county’s anti-hate program, revealed a new mural celebrating LA County’s Indigenous and Native communities and cultures at a special event conducted on Oct. 27, at Piute Middle School in Lancaster.
The mural, “Antelope Valley Continues to Bloom,” was created by River Garza, an Indigenous interdisciplinary visual artist based out of Los Angeles. The mural is one of five pieces commissioned during the LA vs Hate Summer of Solidarity initiative, a public art series that celebrates the diverse communities of Los Angeles and has revealed four new murals since May.
Launched by the LA County Commission on Human Relations in 2020, LA vs Hate is a community-centered program designed to encourage all residents of Los Angeles County to unite against and report hate, as well as to bring about change to policies and practices that enable hate, and to support residents who may have been victims of hate motivated acts.
The “Antelope Valley Continues to Bloom” mural was created in partnership with Antelope Valley Partners for Health and the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians. The unveiling and dedication ceremony included speakers and several performances, and following the dedication, the community joined the students of Piute Middle School for an afternoon celebration.
“LA vs Hate murals beautify our communities while illustrating important values and histories, sharing stories across ancestries, histories and cultures,” said Robin Toma, executive director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations. “Our program is not only focused on ending systemic discrimination and bias, but also about nurturing intergroup coalitions that are as inclusive as they are diverse. And I believe art like this mural can be a force and inspiration in those efforts.”
“This beautiful mural at Piute Middle School will serve as a source of encouragement and inspiration for all who attend and work at the school and visit campus,” said LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger. “The artwork offers us an important reminder that no matter the challenges we face, our community will continue to flourish when we uplift one another.”
“This mural represents the life cycles of the Antelope Valley, using the poppy bloom as a metaphor for the richness and resilience of its local residents,” said muralist River Garza. “The mural honors the relationship between communities experiencing food and housing insecurity and the service workers who engage in a cycle of giving and healing. My design draws from Tongva basket weaving patterns that are recognized across local tribes for their connections with geography and sacred geometry. The perseverance of the poppies are a symbol of hope, reminding us that we too are resilient and have every potential to bloom.”
The mural is part of LA vs Hate’s solidarity mural series, which will conclude this fall. The series includes monthly art-led and community-centered events in each of the county’s five supervisorial districts. Through partnerships with community-based organizations, the festivities aim to uplift and celebrate cultural moments and traditions – all to showcase that unity is stronger than hate. The program also seeks to remind residents of the County’s hate reporting system, where anyone can report an act of hate and receive free and confidential support by calling 2-1-1, or by filing a report online at www.LAvsHate.org.
On Nov. 11, LA vs Hate will launch its fourth United Against Hate Week campaign. Taking place November 12-18, United Against Hate Week (UAHW) is a statewide call for local civic action to stop the hate and implicit biases that are a dangerous threat to the safety and civility of neighborhoods, towns, and cities.
For more information and to report acts of hate and discrimination, visit LAvsHate.org, and to learn more about LA vs Hate’s upcoming campaign during United Against Hate Week, visit LAvsHate.org/uahw.