Behind the storefront offices of the Encanto-based Pillars of the Community, local artists have started work on a mural featuring images of several civil rights leaders.
Among them — depicted in profile — is Malcolm X, who was imprisoned as a young man on a burglary conviction and later became a minister and national spokesman for the Nation of Islam.
Although he eventually broke away from that organization, he remained committed to his faith and issues related to civil and social rights in the United States. He was assassinated in 1965.
Paul Khalid Alexander, who like Malcolm X is a convert to the religion, founded Pillars of the Community seven years ago with an eye toward serving Muslims in southeastern San Diego and helping formerly incarcerated people get back on their feet after being released.
Since then, the nonprofit group has remained rooted in the Islamic faith, but its focus has broadened to include advocating on behalf of the entire community of southeastern San Diego through education, organization and action.
Source: San Diego Union-Tribune