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Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, Keep It Flowing encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

In Hawaii alone, there have been 33 drunk driving accidents within the past year (madd.org). During 2012, an estimated 6 traffic fatalities and 86 nonfatal traffic injuries were attributavle to driving after underage drinking (udetc.org). To spread the word and prevent alcohol abuse in our community, Keep It Flowing is joining other organizations across the country to honor Alcohol Awareness Month. We did so by painting an underage drinking prevention mural.

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“Be a Jerk” is an award-winning campaign launched to reduce youth access to alcohol by changing community practice, knowledge and policy. This campaign uses a model called Community Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA), which focuses on community organizing efforts to change the environment that contributes to the use of alcohol. This model is unique in that it targets the entire community rather than just individual young people. Our recent mural project in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters in Maui is an application of this CMCA model.

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In early March 2015, Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) invited us to paint a mural on the exterior of their 6,000 square foot facility, the Mercer K. “Chubby” Vicens Mentoring Center in Wailuku, Maui. The primary purpose of this mural is to communicate the “Be a Jerk” message, which is being spearheaded with teens from the Hale Makana low-income housing community. At the same time, this mural also beautifies a space that was once dark and uninviting into one that is now colorful and youthful. We were contracted to paint one collaborative mural (Be a Jerk) and we donated two additional murals (BBBS and Aloha).

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In line with the BBBS philosophy, we encouraged one on one interaction with the youth by inviting them to paint with us. Youth, ages 7-12, added insects and positive messages using paintbrushes and acrylic. The rest of the mural was painted with aersol cans (Montana 94).

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A mural unveiling and community party will take place on April 18, 2015 from 10:00 – 11:30 am. There will be food, music and prizes. Motion-activated floodlights are being installed in the area where the mural is located. They are also planning on planting more greenery and flowering plants next to the mural. This mural has transformed a desolate area into one that is now more inviting, positive and hopeful.

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Mural Location:

Big Brothers Big Sisters Maui, 200 Waimaluhia Lane, Wailuku, HI 96793

 

Mural Size:

15 feet x 9 feet

 

Mural Media:

Acrylic

 

Muralists:

Ken Nishimura (East 3) and Trysen Kaneshige (Tkay2)

 

Date of Completion:

March 27, 2015

 

Mural Unveiling:

April 18, 2015

 

Photography by:

Akili Jones

Ken Nishimura

Trysen Kaneshige

 

Big Brother Big Sisters Contact Info:

JD Wyatt, Director, JD@bbbshawaii.org, 808-242-9754 ext. 202

Courtney Cabebe , Match Specialist, ccabebe@bbbshawaii.org, 808-252-9754 ext. 207

Ashlee Chapman MSW, School Based Case Manager, achapman@bbbshawaii.org, 808-242-9754 ext. 206

 

The Underage Drinking Prevention Coalition includes the following organizations:

Maui County, Department of Housing and Human Concerns; Aloha House; Maui Youth and Family Services; Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.; Community Work Day; Kihei Youth Center; Paia Youth & Cultural Center Maui; Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Shelter; Alu Like Molokai; Lanai Youth Center; Hana Youth Center; Baldwin High School, Peer Education Program; Boys and Girls Clubs of Maui; and Maui Police Department.

If you are drinking too much, you can improve your health by cutting back or quitting. Here are some strategies to help you cut back or stop drinking:

  • Limit your drinking to no more than 1 drink a day for women or 2 drinks a day for men.
  • Keep track of how much you drink.
  • Choose a day each week when you will not drink.
  • Don’t drink when you are upset.
  • Avoid places where people drink a lot.
  • Make a list of reasons not to drink.