SOS Berks dedicates 2nd recovery-themed mural in Reading

In a vibrant celebration of hope and resilience, SOS Berks dedicated its second recovery-themed mural yesterday afternoon, Thursday, April 18th. Located on the corner of 11th & Richmond Streets in Reading, the mural commemorates the journey of recovery from addiction and coincides with April being alcohol awareness month.

Named “The Journey,” the mural is a collaborative creation by Reading artist Marian Njai and digital designer Gregory Didyoung, under the guidance of Mural Coordinator Mike Miller. The artwork is a testament to the inspirational story of Yvonne Stroman, whose recovery journey served as the foundation for the mural’s design.

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Yvonne shared her experiences with Marian, highlighting the joys of life in recovery, including activities like bicycling, journaling, and supporting others on their path to wellness. Her poignant quotes about the journey of recovery are woven throughout the mural, accentuated by intricate hand-cut stencil patterns, many of which feature bicycle-themed imagery.

The dedication ceremony, held at the Albright College Total Experience Learning Building, attracted a diverse array of speakers and attendees. Among the speakers were Berks County officials, SOS Berks representatives, lead artist Marian Njai, digital designer Gregory Didyoung, Mural Coordinator Mike Miller, and COCA Community Programs Specialist Yvonne Stroman, along with special guests Ethel Stroman and Marie Stroman.

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The mural, painted partly off-site at the Public Art Studio within Albright College, involved the participation of hundreds of community volunteers. Its completion marks a significant milestone in SOS Berks’ mission to promote recovery and combat the stigma surrounding substance use disorder in Berks County.

SOS Berks, a coalition dedicated to reducing overdose deaths and supporting individuals on their journey to recovery, envisions a series of murals across Berks County, each highlighting stories of resilience and hope. The first mural, “Mi Recuperación, Mi Familia,” completed in 2023, emphasizes the importance of family in the recovery narrative of Jose Lugo.

As the community continues to unite in solidarity, SOS Berks remains committed to educating, raising awareness, and providing resources for prevention, treatment, and recovery in Berks County.

For more information about SOS Berks and their initiatives, visit sosberks.org.

The dedication of “The Journey” mural signifies not only a celebration of recovery but also a beacon of hope for individuals and families affected by addiction in Reading and beyond.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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