“True Colors” Mural & Book

ForWords and Precita Eyes

true colors student book cover

 The mural is now on the wall in the Canal neighborhood. It is a reminder every day to us about what we can do and the pride we feel about our community. And the community reacted with pride and happiness about ‘True Colors.’

It’s more than just a painting on a wall. The mural is about respect, dedication, and hard work. It is about more than paint and brushes and climbing the scaffolding-it is about the life lessons we learned that you can see in the tree-of-life in the mural. We learned that we can do almost anything and we can overcome many barriers to reach our goals.



Brainstorming with Precita Eyes muralists, 40 eager new muralists created ‘True Colors’ a spectacular 4 stories high mural located in the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael where the majority of our students reside. From the democratic process of discussion and consensus, students created a mural that captures their vision of their future.

Students visited a variety of murals in San Francisco, researched and learned about the cultural and historical s/heroes they wished to include in the mural, wrote and learned about symbols and metaphors to portray in the mural. Once the concept was agreed to by all, students learned to draw, paint, and write about their ideas.

They created visual representations of their ideas, canvassed the neighborhood to discuss the mural concepts, wrote to the owner of the building requesting her permission for a mural, attended and presented to the city Design Review Board and to the City Council, and at long last, put on their hard hats, climbed the scaffolding, and began to draw and paint on the mural grid.

After the mural was blessed by Aztec dancers there was a grand street party celebration. Finally, students wrote a book to share with other about their experience.

Today this mural proudly displays the hopes and dreams of ForWords students and is enjoyed by the whole community.