King David Lodge #20, has given Community Encompass and the YEP program a canvas to honor leaders in the black community who helped pave the way for African Americans, nationally and locally. A large public art mural is currently being done on the side of the two-story King David Lodge #20 building located at 260 Mason Street. The theme of the mural was developed by core city youths who are part of the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP!), a leadership development work experience program offered to core city school youths.
“Our theme for the mural was black leadership,” says Carmela Webster, a YEP participant who has been with the program for 6 years. “All of us YEPs were brainstorming as a group with the artist and came up with this idea of Mt. Rushmore—which is iconic in American history—and decided to add some different faces to the Mt. Rushmore backdrop.”
The four chosen: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Barack Obama, and Charles Waugh.
Charles Waugh was chosen by the brothers of King David Lodge #20, as a tribute to being a former local leader. As a Muskegon resident, Charles was an attorney, president of the Muskegon Branch NAACP. He was the second Grand Master (1969-1970) of Prince Hall Grand Lodge of Michigan from King David Lodge #20 Prince Hall Affiliation
Charles was a member of the IOTA PHI LAMBDA Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He was also the 1st elected African American municipal judge for the city of Muskegon Heights. He served in the United States Air force, worked in the office of price administration and the federal trade commission, he received his juris doctorate from the University of Michigan, and later on went to serve as the director of Muskegon/Oceana legal aid bureau.
“This mural is an amazing opportunity to tell a piece of Muskegon’s history, and for King David Lodge #20 to honor some outstanding leaders,” says Norris Ellis, the current Worshipful Master of the King David Lodge #20 Muskegon P.H.A.
King David Lodge #20 would like to invite everyone in the community to help us celebrate this glorious event. A grand unveiling of the two-story mural on the King David Lodge #20 will be held 5 August, 2017 at 4 o’clock PM in conjunction with the annual YEP Celebration, during which young people who have been working all summer in neighborhood building activities will be honored and celebrated.
“This whole project has been an amazing ‘picture in action’ of our philosophy of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD),” stated Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga, Executive Director of Community Encompass. “Discovering the gifts that are already present in a neighborhood….and just convening and connecting the dots. The brothers at the Lodge have a deep history of service to the neighborhood, and our neighbors on 4th Street. The families and kids—have all been so active in the beautification project so far, working right alongside volunteers. Together, we share this vision for a community that is healthy, strong and connected, where all of us want to live, work, shop, play and be! This project is a manifestation of that vision.”
This mural was funded in part by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Neighborhood Enhancement Grant. Several local businesses have offered and donated materials towards the effort, this include Northland Farms and Landscape Supplies.