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UNF’s Hope and History Mural Project voted ‘Jacksonville’s best public art’

July 2, 2021

Students posing in front of the large Hope And History muralThe University of North Florida’s Hope and History Mural Project was recently voted “Jacksonville’s best public art” in the JaxBest list, a guide compiled by News4Jax WJXT Ch.4 viewer votes that showcases the local things that make Jacksonville so unique.

The Hope and History Mural, located on the Eastside Brotherhood building at 915 A. Philip Randolph Blvd., was created in 2018 as a result of a year-long youth leadership development program by the UNF Center for Urban Education and Policy (CUEP) that focused on Jacksonville’s rich Civil Rights legacy and the role youth played in 1960 to challenge racial segregation. Local high school students who participated in the program created the mural to help ensure more people learned the story of Jacksonville’s 1960 Lunch Counter Sit-Ins, and the subsequent violent, racist attack now known as Ax Handle Saturday.

When the white mob attacked young high-school protestors and other Black Jacksonville residents during Ax Handle Saturday, those young student protesters were the same age as the high schoolers participating in the UNF CUEP program. Many of these students felt deeply connected to this story of the power of youth activism and public education and wanted to share that connection as art for the city to enjoy, reflect and remember.

The high school students worked with CUEP staff, UNF volunteers and local artists including lead muralist Nicole Holderbaum to bring their vision to life. Alongside local history-makers and Civil Rights activists, over 25 area youth studied Jacksonville’s Civil Rights history and realized their own capacity to create changes today.

Learn more about the project on the Center for Urban Education and Policy’s Facebook post. Read about the award on News4Jax