On June 10, 2023, the community of Dartmouth North were invited to gather for the unveiling of a mural at the BGC building on Farrell Street. The mural was the culmination of a months-long initiative of community healing community: Miya’s World.

By Kayley Dixon

Since December 2022, a local Dartmouth North youth team has met monthly through an Inspiring Communities/Between the Bridges-led Initiative. Through means of art-based therapy and guided mentorship, youth and family collaborated, created, ate, laughed, mourned, and healed together. Youth from this community envisioned and planned out the concept for the mural that is now housed on the wall of the Boys and Girls Club (BGC) on Farrell Street. Undertaking this project helped them build their skills in project planning and event planning and designing.

The mural is in honor of Miya Harris, a local Dartmouth North youth who tragically passed away three years ago. Her memory and legacy remain with us, and is the driving force behind our passion and energy to engage in this work within community.

The mural places value on the importance of education and represents growth, connection, and healing. Its intention is also to open a dialogue on mental health and grief, specifically amongst our Dartmouth North youth.

The design concept is of Miya holding open a book about her life, with butterflies flying out of the pages. We believe that through her story and the loving legacy that she left, we can learn and better support and heal our community.

Our youth deserve better. We believe that we are underserviced. We believe that we lack foundational supports. Specifically, regarding addictions supports and mental health supports. The community reveal event that was held Saturday, June 10th and the mural itself is intended not only to honor Miya, who she was and what she stood for, but to turn up the volume on existing dialogues.

We are here. We are hurting. We want change. We want to be healthy. We want to be happy. This conversation will continue and we will be unapologetic and intentional in our efforts and we hope that you join us.

A special thanks to the artists at Trackside Studios for painting the mural and working alongside our team to capture the essence, vibrancy, and meaning that we wished the mural would provide to our community.

This piece appears in the Summer issue of the North Dartmouth Echo. Kayley Dixon is a student, entrepreneur and spoken word poet from the community of Dartmouth North. She is currently employed with Inspiring Communities as a Communications and Events Coordinator summer co-op.

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