Girls Inc. of Central Alabama reveals mural that inspires girls to be strong, smart and bold (Photos)

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Girls Inc. Mural at the the entrance of the Crestwood Center. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Earlier this week, Girls Inc.of Central Alabama unveiled a beautiful new mural that welcomes girls and visitors to their Birmingham Crestwood neighborhood campus.

The 80 feet long and 7 feet tall (at certain places along the site) mural was designed and painted by local artist Merrilee Challiss. It is located along the driveway of Girls Inc.’s Crestwood Center.

“This mural is a visual representation of our mission – to inspire all girls to be strong, smart, and bold,” said Connie Hill, President and CEO od Girls Inc. “Not only will it be the first thing girls and their parents see when they come to Girls Inc., it will be something for the entire neighborhood to enjoy.”

The butterflies

Along with the mural’s bright eye-popping colors,  Challiss also included images of butterflies into the piece, which symbolizes the girls’ transition to adulthood, according to the description of the mural on the Girls Inc. website. Some of the girls in the after-school program were even able to participate in creating the mural by adding their hand print “butterflies” onto painted flowers.

National Conference in 2020

The completion of the mural is perfect timing for the local Girls, Inc. affiliate, which will be hosting the National Girls, Inc. conference in 2020. Birmingham’s local Girls Inc. has been serving girls and families since 1938, and it is has been a United Way partner agency since 1954.

Here are photos taken by Bham Now of the new mural.

View of the 80 foot long wall of the Girls Inc. mural in Birmingham. Photo from Girls Inc. of Central Alabama
Girl’s Inc. of Central Alabama mural at the Crestwood Center. Photo from Girls Inc. of Central Alabama
Mural artist Merrilee Challiss. Photo from Girls Inc. of Central Alabama

Strong, Smart and Bold

The mural is a perfect daily reminder of Girls Inc.’s daily mission to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold.

Feel free to visit the mural at 5130 8th Court South
Birmingham, AL 35212 – which is the Crestwood campus.  Learn more about Girls Inc. and the important work they do at 

To see more artwork by Merrilee Challiss, visit her website at

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Pat Byington
Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.
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