Volunteers from PROMISE, the Marathon Petroleum Black Employee Network chapter in Catlettsburg, Kentucky, teamed up with local organizations Unlimited Futures, Inc. and All Here Together Productions for "Public Paint Day" in Huntington, West Virginia.
The volunteer mural project spans multiple structures in the Fairfield Neighborhood, home to a once thriving Black community that over time lost part of what made it special to those who have called it home for generations.
That’s why there’s been a recent push to revitalize the community in the heart of Huntington.
“Devoting these efforts in this corridor demonstrates how investment in our civic assets and marginalized communities can be a powerful initiative toward racial reconciliation, cultivating trust, and connecting people of all backgrounds,” said Lloyd Hudson, Human Resources Manager at the Catlettsburg refinery.
A dozen employee volunteers helped children from Ebenezer Day Care Center paint on the canvas that was eventually installed directly on the day care building by artist Ernel Martinez. Some of those same employees also added their artistic talents to the canvas and attended the unveiling on July 29.
“WOW! The Marathon Petroleum crew held our event together in a way that creativity and joy could flow for all!” Mitzi Sinnott, Executive Director of All Here Together Productions, said. “The team was the very thing I didn't know how much I'd need to facilitate a community event like this. We truly appreciate all the help from such kind and smiling faces.”
The project's goal was to provide a widening perspective toward a more equitable and joyous community. Two additional murals are planned soon for the entire community to enjoy.