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By Karen Nikos-Rose on April 29, 2019

King Hall mural features civil rights leader

By Carla Meyer, UC Davis School of Law

A vibrant new mural adorns a wall in the courtyard of King Hall, the building for UC Davis School of Law.

Co-created by Reza Harris ’19, the mural depicts Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., after whom King Hall is named, and the word “Dream.” That spray-painted word pays tribute to King’s famous 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, Harris said, “and it is a message to the students here: You can look out the window while you are studying, and see a reminder of what your goals are.”

Harris collaborated on the mural with artist Eric Norberg. Fellow King Hall students helped paint the mural. The mural's progress and eventual debut is depicted in the accompanying video, below.

“Different students got to stop by and put their hands on the paint, and learn how to do the art form,” he said. Harris has experience with mural tutorials, having co-founded San Francisco’s 5 Elements Youth Program, which teaches social justice through art. Harris will be the student speaker at the law school’s May 18 commencement.

Street art and law

After graduation, Harris will work at a Silicon Valley law firm, focusing on intellectual property law. Harris said he has a special interest in how the law pertains to street art.

The mural was unveiled on April 23 during a celebration for graduating third-year law student members of the Black Law Students Association, which spearheaded the mural’s creation.

“Reza’s mural is an artistic symbol of our growth as an organization,” BLSA President Paige Tucker said.

“The mural encourages the continued legacy of leadership and pursuit of justice in honor of Dr. King.”

At the ceremony, UC Davis School of Law Dean Kevin R. Johnson discussed the importance of the Black Law Students Association to the school’s history. For instance, the organization played a key role in obtaining the terra cotta statue of King that sits in the law school’s lobby, he said. “Up to this day, BLSA is one of the foundations, one of the bedrocks, of UC Davis School of Law,” Johnson said. And now, a BLSA-sponsored artwork is part of the actual concrete.

Watch a video about the mural.