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Graffiti 2 Works: Changing Lives in the Bronx

Graffiti 2 Works Artisan
Graffiti 2 Works provides a living wage for artisans in the Bronx.

Graffiti 2 Works Changes Lives.

In the midst of Mott Haven in the South Bronx, Graffiti 2 Community Ministries serves its neighbors through afterschool care programs for children, mentoring programs for youth, and Graffiti 2 Works, a holistic job skills program for adults. Kerri Johnson, Graffiti 2 Works Director, shares that Graffiti 2 Works’ name reflects the way this program is designed to teach people that work is beneficial for us because God created us to do work.

One component of Graffiti 2 Works is a WorldCrafts artisan group who produces beautiful hand-sewn products like the Little Birdie Pincushion, the Cord Keeper, and the Hope Lanyard. The artisans at Graffiti 2 Works receive job training which enables them to earn a living wage. In addition to job training, these artisans are coached to develop the physical, mental, emotional, and social skills they need to achieve their full potential.

Diega: A Life Changed

Diega was the first artisan employed at Graffiti 2 Works. A native of Honduras, Diega found out about Graffiti 2 Works when her son started attending the afterschool program there. She began volunteering with the program and learned to love the community of Graffiti 2.

Because of Graffiti 2 Works, I believe I will have a happy future. I see myself working, healthy, and being a great mother for my kids.

Diega became involved after having a conversation with Kerri Johnson. One afternoon, as Diega and Kerri were going to visit a farmer’s market, Diega shared that she was a master seamstress. Kerri had been praying about starting a new micro-enterprise business, but she needed someone who knew how to sew. She immediately realized that Diega was the answer to these prayers.

Graffiti 2 has transformed Diega’s life. She shares, “Because of Graffiti 2 Works, I believe I will have a happy future. I see myself working, healthy, and being a great mother for my kids. Graffiti 2 has benefitted my family in so many ways. We are blessed to be here. My son is still involved with the after school program, and I have a job. I have learned that with God, everything can be possible.”

When asked how we could pray for her, Diega gave a simple response, “I would like for you to pray for me to be healthy, happy, and for a peaceful life with my family.”

Just as Diega was an answer to Kerri Johnson’s prayers, when you shop fair trade by purchasing items created by the artisans at Graffiti 2 Works, you are helping to answer Diega’s prayer.