Horizontes is about making transformational neighborhood change and creating lasting bridges between Black and Brown North Wichita residents. This train bridge serves as an actual connector of both the Northeast and Northend neighborhoods, and our goal is to elevate this community literal bridge into the realm of ancient wisdom and folklore, using mural painting as a media to illustrate what divides and ultimately, unites us.
Christina Long: “Back in the day, was nothing to be able to go to sandwich shops or Juanita’s. She was on the Ninth Street area, she had the best burgers and soul food. Now, that’s one thing that I absolutely do miss it. There’s a lot of experiences. It used to be that just don’t exist anymore. I remember when the Black Arts Festival that was a big deal, it was a big deal. I remember it when it was at WSU, and then they moved it to McAdams and while it was great, it was never like it used to be. And I’m really glad to see the efforts bringing him back right now. But again, it’s just like we’re bringing a lot of things back because they don’t exist anymore.”
Angelo Rodriguez: “The empowerment just the people know that they can put something together – just kind of step it outside of that mind frame of dependency and start thinking of community or alliance again… I’m hoping that it would just be on the first steps of creating the doorway, a talk-back and forth to our communities.”
Debbie Ojeda-Leitner: I can’t even believe I’m graduating because I had literal teachers tell me that I’m never gonna make it in undergrad, and here I am with my doctorate. That’s why it’s really important for me to show solidarity in the classroom as well. And it’s easy, especially for light skin, white folks, to shrug it off because it doesn’t apply to them. Sometimes, especially in classrooms where you’re the only brown person there, we have to work harder than most people because not only have to protect your identity and make sure no one’s gonna stigmatize your identity, you also have to show that you’re doing the best work that you can. And at the same time, you have to be the only one holding these people accountable because nobody else is gonna do it.
Tracia Banuelos: I think something important is the Black millennial experience is so different. Now, things are even more intricate and even more complex because… I even think our Latin communities and our Black communities, still seemed very polarized. I know when I competed in Miss Black and Gold Pageant, I’m the first Latina ever to compete in that pageant, and I’m not even full black or even full Latina. It was just very interesting. I don’t see as much work from these communities together that I thought I would. We have so much further to go in true solidarity and working against the administration and the people that hate us together. I think we have to acknowledge our own issues first.