Educational Justice Will Guide Us
Into the Future We Deserve

July 28th 2017

 423 Atlantic Avenue SW Albuquerque, NM 87102


Educational Justice Will Guide Us Into the Future We Deserve

Shawn Curley is a 17-year-old who attends Native American Community Academy.

Alonso Estrada, a 15-year-old bilingual Hispanic artist, has been a part of Working Classroom since the age of ten.

Taylor Harlan is a 16-year-old Native American artist, photographer, poet, first time muralist at Working Classroom, and incoming senior at the Native American Community Academy.

Alyssa B. Johnson is a 14-year-old, incoming 9th grader at Native American Community Academy.

Alayna Martinez is a 16-year-old International Baccalaureate student at Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School as well as a new student at Working Classroom.

Julissa Rivera is a thirteen-year-old dancer and artist who will be an eighth grader at Tierra Adentro.

Ximena Valencia is a 13-year-old who attends Washington Middle School.

Layqa Nuna Yawar is a migrant latinx artist, large-scale muralist, agitator, educator and organizer born in Ecuador and based out of Newark, NJ. His large-scale murals, paintings and projects question injustice, racism and xenophobia, while celebrating cross-cultural identity and migration in order to amplify the silenced narratives of people of color around the Americas and the world.
Angel Pavia is a 22-year-old Biology student at the University of New Mexico who has a deep love for the arts. He was introduced to Working Classroom in 2008 and has been taking workshops since then ranging from portraiture, illustration, painting and sculpture. He has worked with many renowned artists including Nani Chacon, Eric J. Garcia and Layqa Nuna Yawar to create meaningful art that speaks to our culture as well as our communities. “Getting the opportunity to do what I love while at the same time giving back to the community is the best feeling I could ever experience and it is something I plan to chase until the day I am unable to hold a paintbrush.” Angel recently completed his first major commission as a lead artist through a grant from the PNM Foundation commissioned by the Albuquerque Store House, a local food pantry.


The mural imagery explores the theme of educational equity, including access to culturally relevant knowledge and training in the arts. Paid student apprentices designed and painted the mural under the guidance of Layqa Nuna Yawar during three weeks in July. Lead artists Layqa Nuna Yawar states,

 “Educational Justice Will Guide Us Into the Future We Deserve is a mural that highlights how a just present guarantees a better and brighter future for our youth. The mural speaks of traditional forms of education given to us by nature and indigenous cultures as well as the western educational system as stepping stones to success and shows us how to make this trajectory just for all: by leveling the ground and lifting each other up within our communities as brother and sisters. Along with this message of renewal and growth, the mural reflects and celebrates Working Classroom’s mission of bridging Art, Education and Social Justice for the youth of the community.”


Gabrielle Uballez, Working Classroom alumna and Executive Director added,

“This project is a reflection of Working Classroom’s commitment to creating public art that thoughtfully provokes dialogue and authentically reflects our communities. For 29 years we have provided the highest quality training to our most ambitious but underserved youth – this project is no exception. These seven student apprentices had the opportunity to impact change, to pursue professional training and receive mentorship from a seasoned and socially conscious artist such as Layqa.”

This project is funded by The National Endowment for the Arts, The FUNd at The Albuquerque Community Foundation and The City of Albuquerque Public Art Urban Enhancement Program in order to support artist residencies at our Youth Art Center in which professional artists collaborate with youth artists to co-create high quality, socially engaged and thought-provoking art.
Meet the artists

A public mural dedication was held at the mural’s site on the west wall of Working Classroom’s youth art center in the Barelas neighborhoood on Friday July 28th, 2017.



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