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First National Drunk Driving Victims’ Mural

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The MADD National Victims Mural was created during the National Leadership Conference.
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Xavier Cortada was assisted by his brother Pablo (left) in adding victims'  photos and messages.

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A life-sized photo replica of the National Victims mural travels  across the country.
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In September 1998, Cortada was invited to attend the MADD National Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. Cortada helped drunk driving victims from across the nation use written messages, pictures and poetry to express themselves to create the first National Drunk Driving Victims’ Mural. The mural dedicated at the Conference's end served:

  • as a memorial to honor all those who have been killed by drunk drivers,
  • as an educational vehicle touring America to teach others about the dangers of drunk driving, and
  • as an art piece to document the tragedy that occurred during this century for future generations.


See other MADD murals created by Xavier Cortada




Four-Day Event Focuses on Underage Drinking, Innovative DUI Sentencing, First National Drunk Driving Victims’ Mural and Corporate Partnerships

WHAT: Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s (MADD) National Leadership Conference is the largest annual gathering of MADD local chapter and state organization leaders who come together for four days of training, fellowship and renewal. These MADD activists represent America’s grass roots, front line "soldiers" leading the war against drunk driving and underage drinking, and who also work to support victims of this preventable violent crime. Drunk driving is the nation’s most frequently committed violent crime and the No. 1 highway safety concern among Americans.

WHO: MADD National President Karolyn Nunnallee will be joined by more than 500 anti-drunk driving activists from the U.S., Canada and Guam. A majority of the attendees are victims of alcohol-related traffic crashes who are working daily in their communities to stop drunk driving, prevent underage drinking and support victims.

WHEN: Thursday, September 10 – Sunday, September 13, 1998

WHERE: The Harvey Hotel, 4545 W. John Carpenter Freeway, Irving, Texas

WHY: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 1997, alcohol-related crashes killed more than 16,189 people and injured one million more. Alcohol-related traffic deaths among teens aged 15-20 totaled 2,209 in 1997, according to figures from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System. It is estimated now that three of five Americans will be affected by an alcohol-related crash at some point in their lives. MADD’s conference provides an opportunity for anti-drunk driving activists to learn more from each other about what is working in local communities, hear from national experts and re-energize each other in their common mission.




8 p.m. – 10 p.m. in the Trinity Gallery

National Victims’ Mural Painting begins by Miami artist Xavier Cortada as he helps drunk driving victims use written messages, pictures and poetry to express themselves for three days to create the first national drunk driving victims’ mural. This collaborative project will be unveiled on Saturday, September 12, 7 p.m., in the Trinity Ballroom. Cortada has also worked with MADD youth on murals.

8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. in Trinity V-VIII

The MADD Marketplace -- MADD Marketplace is an opportunity to for media to learn more about the growing involvement of Corporate America in the fight to stop drunk driving. Nearly two dozen corporate "team players" will be on site at the Marketplace. [Shawn Kahle of KMART will deliver a presentation during Friday’s luncheon at noon in Trinity I-IV on how Kmart is working with MADD on "no alcohol" messages for youth and the Kmart Kids Race Against Drugs program.] Other corporate partners at the MADD Marketplace include Allstate Insurance, Heritage Publishing Company, Penguin Products, Precision Tune Auto Care, Sierra On-Line, Snacks That Care, State Farm Insurance, Stonehenge, and Travelers Bank.


2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. in the Red Oak Room

Youth Helping Youth -- Involving youth is critical – more than half of the nation’s junior and senior high school students report using alcohol monthly. Brendan Brogan, 17, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, and MADD’s newly-appointed, first ever youth National Board member, will speak on "Youth Leadership Within MADD." MADD’s Youth In Action program consists of eight local anti-drinking programs for and involving youth under the legal drinking age of 21. MADD’s Metroplex Youth In Action team is one of the nation’s pilot programs. [The MADD Metroplex Youth In Action team will hold a sidewalk "chalking/news conference, Monday, September 14, 10 a.m., Highland Park High School, to raise awareness of Texas’ 1997 Zero Tolerance law.]


7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. in the Trinity Ballroom

Texas Criminal Judge Speaks on Innovative DUI Sentencing --Texas’ own felony criminal court justice, Judge Ted Poe will present the keynote address "Innovative Sentencing Benefiting Communities, Criminals AND Victims." Featured on 20/20, Dateline, and European newscasts, Poe is renowned for breaking new ground in the disposition of DUI cases. Poe has also been an instructor at the University of Houston and serves on the advisory board of MADD (Gulf Area Chapter) as well as other organizations fighting substance abuse.




Between 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Unveiling of artist Xavier Cortada’s victims’ mural for MADD.

For a complete agenda or more information about the conference, please contact Sabrina Slater at (214) 744-6233 ext. 270 or Susie Tull at ext. 248.