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Social Change Through Art

A story about friendship, honoring cultural heritage, and finding a better way.
Painting Brushes
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A True Story

At Lawrence Cook Junior High School, Adele was the founding teacher of SOL Club (Socially Organized Latinos). SOL was a club that originated on campus as a way of resolving gang violence that had emerged in 1994. SOL club combined honoring cultural heritage, community collaboration and visual art projects to create positive social change. SOL activities included weekly guest speakers from the community, participation in art festivals, canned food drives, student speakers sharing the SOL club experience with other schools, lowrider bike shows, Cinco de Mayo celebrations and art creations throughout the school.

SOL successfully ended the gang fighting on campus with students focusing on cultural pride and giving back to their community. Two student leaders of the original SOL club are now local community leaders. Omar Medina is a Santa Rosa City Schools Trustee and Gustavo Mendoza is the Outreach Specialist for the City of Santa Rosa.

True Story
Black Background
Adele Davalos Mitchell

Adele has been an educator for over thirty years. She has taught visual art, dance, physical education and film studies. Adele has worked with generations of students at Montgomery High School, Lawrence Cook Junior High School, Santa Rosa Junior College and was a founding faculty member at Maria Carrillo High School.


Her awards include the California State Senate Award for Outstanding Commitment to Southwest Santa Rosa Youth, recognition at a Congressional Forum on Education hosted by United States Representative, Lynn Woolsey and the Excellence in Education Award presented by the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce.

Adele was also the founder and executive director of Santa Rosa Dance Theater for over fourteen years, providing professional dance training and performance opportunities for hundreds of young artists.

Adele continues to be an advocate for underserved youth by helping to promote art as a way of self expression and resilience.

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