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SOS Berks to Dedicate Second Recovery-Themed Mural

SOS Berks to Dedicate Second Recovery-Themed Mural

by SOS Berks

The new mural celebrates recovery from addiction, and the dedication coincides with April as alcohol awareness month.

A mural dedication ceremony recognizing the completion of the second SOS Berks recovery-themed mural, The Journey/El Viaje, will be held on Thursday, April 18, at 3 p.m.

The mural is located on the corner of 11th and Richmond streets in Reading, on a building owned by Albright College. The dedication ceremony will take place at the Albright College Total Experience Learning Building at 1041 Rockland St. Participants are asked to park at that location and walk one block along 11th Street to view the mural, then return to the Total Experience Learning Building for the dedication.

Speakers will include Berks County officials; SOS Berks Officials; lead artist Marian Njai; digital designer Gregory Didyoung; mural coordinator Mike Miller; COCA community programs specialist Yvonne Stroman; and guests Ethel Stroman and Marie Stroman.

The mural, The Journey/El Viaje, was designed by Reading artist Marian Njai and digital designer Gregory Didyoung under the direction of Mural Coordinator Mike Miller. It is based on the recovery story of Yvonne Stroman, who discussed with Marian the many joys of life in recovery from substance use disorder, which includes bicycling, journaling, helping others in recovery, and mentoring young people. Yvonne’s inspirational quotes about her journey of recovery loop through the artwork, which incorporates hand-cut stencil patterns, many of which resemble bicycle-themed images, so that the theme of the journey is reflected in even the smallest details.

The mural is located on a building owned by Albright College. It was completed in the fall of 2023 and is being dedicated in April in recognition of alcohol awareness month. The artwork was painted partly off-site at the Public Art Studio located in the Total Experience Learning Center at Albright College, while the largest portion was painted directly on the building. The process involved hundreds of community volunteers. We are grateful to all who participated and made this mural possible.

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.” The first SOS Berks mural, Mi Recuperación, Mi Familia, was completed in 2023 and is located at 9th and Oley streets in Reading. That mural depicts the importance of family in the recovery story of Jose Lugo.

SOS Berks is a coalition of Berks County community members who have joined together in an effort to reduce overdose deaths throughout the county. The coalition is invested in educating our community about the disease of a substance use disorder, raising awareness about stigma, and providing information about resources available for prevention, treatment, and recovery in Berks County. For more information on SOS Berks, please visit