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Humans of Nebula: Cbabi Bayoc

“I created a mural at Fairway Elementary in the Rockwood School District. It was in a space that was going to become the multicultural reading room. So I used a storybook theme and the idea was to remake some characters so all the kids in the school could see themselves in whatever book they were reading. One of the main characters I painted on the wall is Little Red Riding Hood and I painted her with Brown skin. The district has a character education program teaching kids to practice the ‘Formative Five’ — embracing diversity, empathy, grit, integrity, and self-control. And they asked me to speak to the students on the first of the principles. A girl heard my reaction during the presentation when I made note that the point was not to make the characters look like the characters we all know but to make them look like whoever wants to be in the story. She went home and told her mom and her mom said she was crying while she was telling her because she got to see herself represented on the wall. There’s no way you can be mad at that. That’s fantastic.”