In Española, New Mexico a mural brings the community together with one message: 100% can thrive.

Can a mural change the trajectory of society, ending historical trauma and health disparities? The mural is a symbol. If enough people believe the message painted on the wall, profound positive action can follow. The message New Mexicans are sending (and singing) is radically simple: 100% of our children and families can thrive. “Can” being the operating word meaning, “have the capacity to.”

Only one state has a data-driven, post-pandemic plan to ensure 100% of residents’ health and safety.

All the leaders of fifty states knew, going into the pandemic, that there were families lacking access to the vital services for survival that included medical care, behavioral health care, food security, housing security and transport to vital services. Historical disparities are not new nor newsworthy in the 24/7 news stream of the US. What is new is that New Mexicans said, “All families can thrive if we end barriers to vital services. We must commit to that.”

1 out of 50 States: It had to start somewhere

New Mexico has the nation’s first (and only) strategic plan, in full implementation, to provide each county with the vision, resources, mobilizing…

Cruz López and son Zaiden sketch a hydra, based on the book Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras.

Diego López is an artist, filmmaker and director of the nonprofit Hands Across Cultures. He and his circle of artists have a message of hope and empowerment for all their neighbors in the small town of Española, New Mexico, “Now is the time to solve our challenges with imagination and collaboration.”

Diego found inspiration for his mural in the books Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras: Confronting Apathy, Envy and Fear on the road to saving the humans and future and 100% Community: Ensuring 10 vital services for surviving and thriving. (Yes, hyrdras have three heads called Apathy, Envy and Fear…

A crisis unites earth

The last time we had an all-eyes-of-the world-event was at 9/11, almost two decades ago. For about three days leaders in every county across the globe halted planes while the world’s residents stared at screens, sharing collectively a tragedy and asking, “Is this the start of a horrible domino effect of terrorism coming to my city?” It wasn’t. We mourned the victims, including almost 3,000 fatalities and 6,000 injuries and soon we returned to normal, with only a more complicated airline travel process put in place (plus the funding of a multi-million dollar US Homeland Security apparatus and war).


Across the nation many students are returning to school after a year of web-based instruction in the home. Prudent state pandemic prevention policy became school policy with the goal of minimizing the risk of infection, illness and death. Good decisions were made by many state governments and school boards. Many lives were saved.

There’s nothing like a global pandemic and a year in lockdown to bring up questions about the purpose of life. And there is no better framework to ponder than Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to guide an internal conversation and community dialogue.

Abraham Maslow, a psychologist and psychology professor, developed his hierarchy of needs framework through the 1940’s and 1950’s and it has remained very popular within the fields of sociology, psychology and public health.

Dominic Cappello

A NY Times bestselling author, social justice activist, Oprah guest, co-author of Attack of the Three-Headed Hydras, 100% Community and Anna, Age Eight.

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