¡HICA!, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, recently unveiled a poignant new mural in their Birmingham office. Read on for full details and to see the incredible art for yourself.
Get to know ¡HICA!
¡HICA! was founded in 1999 to support the growing Latino population in Birmingham. The organization is committed to, “economic equality, civic engagement and social justice for Latino and immigrant families in Alabama.”
¡HICA! made headlines late last year when they named their new CEO, Carlos Alemán, who started the role in January 2022. We had the opportunity to speak with Carlos and learn about his goals for the future of ¡HICA!—check out our in-depth interview with him to learn more.
All about the new mural at ¡HICA!
The new mural was created by Dewon Moton Art, who also painted the iconic John Lewis mural at Gus’s Hot Dogs. The piece is comprised of three distinct panels, each telling a unique story. Here’s the breakdown:
- PANEL 1 depicts the migration journey to Alabama and shows folks arriving by land, sea and air. Vulcan welcomes everyone to Birmingham and serves as a beacon to the community. Look closely and you can also spot John Lewis, included to honor the importance and impact of the Civil Rights Movement in the ¡HICA! community
- PANEL 2 tells the story of the immigrant rights movement in Alabama, specifically how the ¡HICA! community came together and proclaimed Alabama as home. It also showcases Isabel Rubio, ¡HICA! founder.
- PANEL 3 represents the ¡HICA! story—being grounded in Birmingham and helping their community achieve their dreams and aspirations of having good jobs, starting businesses, buying homes and sending their kids to college. Labor and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta is also present in the painting, serving as a symbol of the strength that the women in the community possess.
¡HICA! welcomes immigrants to their new home
We went to check out the new mural today and had the opportunity to chat with Silvia Espinosa Laxson, ¡HICA!’s Development Director. Silvia offered personal insight on the significance of the mural.
As an immigrant herself, she remembers being told ten years ago that ¡HICA! was the one-stop shop for everything she may need. It was the key to making Alabama her new home and connected her to the resources she needed to thrive in her new life.
“This mural represents the first thing you see when you come home. I am an immigrant and traveled here ten years ago… the first thing I was told was to go to ¡HICA! for anything that I needed—questions, navigation, schooling, medical care, etc. This is the country where you can create your new life. ¡HICA! is one community and we welcome everybody.”—Silvia Espinosa Laxson, Development Director, ¡HICA!
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