Thurgood Marshall College Mural


Thurgood Marshall College Mural


Scholar and Citizen


This mural commemorates the rich history of Thurgood Marshall College and honors those at UC San Diego and worldwide who have striven mightily for social justice. The mural was forged in fire, created during a time of campus crisis that galvanized collective action and institutional change.
In February 2010, the UC San Diego campus was jolted by a series of racist events, beginning with the now-infamous Compton Cookout. Student response was immediate.
That spring, the Visual Arts Department provided each of the Colleges and other departments with a large canvas and requested that each represent itself however it saw fit.
Demetra Matin, an intern for the Dean of Students at Thurgood Marshall College, had been looking for just this kind of project. No stranger to student activism, Demetra had been a first-year student in 2006 when the Dimensions of Culture protest brought out so many students and faculty to critically examine the purpose and presentation of education. Their work was not done.
Drawing on input from other students, Demetra imagined the mural as you see it now. She invited students and other members of the campus community to stop by and paint and color in parts of it. Using symbols, figures, and words important to the college, the piece exists without actually stating the name of the College.
Demetra explains, “The mural was entirely inspired by Fnann Keflezighi, the sit-in and the amazing student collective activism led by students from our college. I turned to art installations during that rough period and it was just my way to contribute and also provide a place for others to contribute through art. Countless students came and colored in parts of the mural behind the deans office. I applied for funding for the paint through the dean’s office.”
Third College… Lumumba-Zapata . . . Thurgood Marshall—all of these names are reflective of the college’s rich and complicated history and its ongoing mission to promote social justice through learning and action.


Demetra Matin & the students of Thurgood Marchall College - 2010


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