Project Information

Youth participating in Groundswells afterschool Teen Empowerment Mural Apprenticeship (TEMA) program created a mural for the lobby of Trade Union SEIU 32BJs headquarters in Lower Manhattan. SEIU represents workers in the janitorial, cleaning, security, and doorman sectors of employment. In January, TEMA participants met with over 40 rank and file union members and brainstormed ideas for the theme of the mural. The TEMA participants decided to focus on the diversity of the membership and the strength and unity of 32BJ. Inspired by their meeting with union members, the youth artists researched the history of SEIU and began to create a design. The finished work includes vignettes of union members at their jobs as doormen, office cleaners, window cleaners, and janitors. A strong central group of figures symbolizes both the diversity of the membership and the sense of unity and solidarity felt by all union members. The mural was installed in the lobby and dedicated in June with a joyous unveiling attended by youth participants, their family members, and 32BJ members.