SOS Berks Dedicates New Mural at 11th & Richmond Sts

April 26, 2024

SOS Berks dedicated a new recovery-themed mural on April 18, 2024. More than 50 people attended the dedication ceremony, which took place inside the Albright College public art studio at the Total Experience Learning Building, where parts of the mural were painted. Attendees walked one block from the studio to view the mural, which is located in a high traffic area at the corner of 11th & Richmond Streets

The mural, titled The Journey (El Viaje), celebrates the journey of recovery from substance use disorder. It is based on the recovery story of Yvonne Stroman, and was designed by Reading artist Marian Njai and digital designer Gregory Didyoung, under the direction of Mural Coordinator Mike Miller. The artist, mural coordinator and Yvonne all spoke at the dedication, which took place in April in recognition of Alcohol Awareness Month. Other speakers included SOS Berks Co-chair & Berks County Commissioner Michael Rivera; Berks County Commissioner Dante Santoni; and Berks County COO Kevin Barnhardt, who as the former SOS Berks Co-chair initiated the SOS Berks Mural project. SOS Berks member Al Dallao served as the emcee, and Yvonne’s sisters Ethel and Marie spoke briefly about sharing with Yvonne her joy in recovery.

This is SOS Berks’ 2nd recovery-themed mural. The first, Mi Recuperación, Mi Familia, was completed in 2023 and is located at 9th & Oley Streets in Reading. That mural depicts the importance of family and is based on the recovery story of Jose Lugo.

SOS Berks hopes to install a series of murals in Berks County that focus on recovery from substance use disorder. The murals expand on a stigma reduction campaign that SOS Berks created several years ago, promoting the theme “Addiction Doesn’t Define Anyone.”