Brooklyn students celebrate their community and diversity with large mural


BROWNSIVLLE, Brooklyn — Students at the Metropolitan Diploma Plus High School and Brooklyn Democracy Academy in Brownsville painted a large mural that they say is celebrating the positive things in their community and school.

“This is what our community looks like, not what everyone thinks it is,” said Remy Grant, one of the students painting the mural.

The schools were awarded with a $25,000 grant to paint the mural as part of The NYC Artist Corps and Summer Rising, in partnership with the DoE and Thrive Collective.

“This has sort of been like a healing process for everyone,” said Latosha Rowry, Art Teacher at Brooklyn Democracy Academy.

The mural features BDA’s former principal Dez-Ann Romain, who was the first educator to die from COVID-19.

“We never lose. We either win or learn” is a quote from Principal Romain that she said frequently and it will be painted across the mural. The saying has become a sort of motto for the schools.

Late rapper Pop Smoke, who graduated from the school, is also featured in the mural.

“We wanted to put him in his cap and gown because even though he had a career in music and could have done that without graduating he still thought it was really important,” said Metropolitan Diploma Plus High School Art Teacher Celina Leroy.

Leroy designed the sketch for the mural and is spearheading the project.

“This is an opportunity for them to celebrate what they feel Brownville is, what Brooklyn is, what their school is,” added Brook Tashena Heath, the Dean of Metropolitan Diploma Plus High School. 

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