Our Vision

Envisioning liberation through our work.
This mural section features a young man becoming empowered by reclaiming community resources.

Groundswell's Vision Statement

By elevating youth vision, voice, and community collaboration, we aim to develop the next generation of changemakers.


Groundswell's Theory of Change

Through exposure to a high quality arts education rooted in social justice with social/emotional supports, Groundswell programs develop creative problem-solvers who use their radical imaginations to create personal and societal change


Groundswell's Social Justice Framework


We believe the unique creative process of making socially-engaged visual art: research, design, fabrication, mirrors the visioning, creating, and collaboration necessary for social change.

We create exciting, nurturing learning environments for young people that spark curiosity, political awakenings, and collective solution-building.

We build youth confidence, work in service of youth ideas, and foster critical thinking and communication skills to explore their agency outside of Groundswell and get involved in community action to realize their vision for a more just and equitable world.


At Groundswell, racial justice is central to what we set out to do in our work. Groundswell amplifies the voices of young people of color, and artists of color, through public art to reflect the brilliance of communities of color. We believe that through the power of expression and art making young people of color discover their agency to affect change in their lives and communities. All murals are based on social justice and community change issues that are important to the communities where we operate, from police brutality to intergenerational relationships.


Every Groundswell artwork begins and ends with a group of community stakeholders, such as teens, artists, organizations, funders, neighbors, and families, who come together to transform their streets. Throughout every stage of the process, Groundswell staff, artists, and youth receive a steady stream of informal and formal community input. We are accountable to our communities. In order to accomplish this, we are selective with which communities we partner with and where we paint our murals.


In addition to Groundswell’s programmatic focus on social justice, Groundswell is actively working to foster an internal organizational culture that does not reproduce the institutional structures that maintain white privilege and racial oppression of the wider society. We acknowledge that integrating inclusive practices across programs, communications, board and staff, development, and management is a process.


Our vision reflects a sustainable organizational culture and structure that supports dynamic programming for community dialogue, engagement, and transformation. Groundswell’s staff is a group of highly committed, engaged, empowered, and joyful individuals. Many of us are mentors, teachers, activists, and artists. We trust in the power of art to connect, understand, grow, and challenge current norms and systems. We envision liberation through our work.


This is our commitment to equity.