8-year-old immigration activist the face of new "Mural of Hope" in San Jose

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A little girl who has already made a big impact in the immigration reform movement, is now a giant symbol of hope in downtown San Jose.

8-year-old Sophie Cruz is the face of the new "Mural of Hope" unveiled Saturday at the Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose.

The mural, commissioned by the San Jose Museum of Art, was created by muralist El Mac (Miles Gregor). It features Sophie holding a globe in one hand and a lotus flower in the other. 

Born in Los Angeles to undocumented Mexican immigrants, Sophie's fears that her parents could be deported have made her one of the youngest voices in the immigration reform movement.

Sophie first made headlines in 2015 when she crossed a police barrier during Pope Francis’s visit to Washington DC to hand the pontiff a letter asking him to help all immigrant children. “My friends and I love each other without caring about the color of our skin," she wrote.

In January 2017, she gave a moving speech at the Women’s March on Washington. "We are here together making a chain of love to protect our families. Let us fight with love, faith and courage so that our families will not be destroyed," Sophie said in both English and Spanish to a cheering crowd. 

"This mural reminds us of the important role we play with children in instilling hope and the ability to see a better future thereby ensure that today’s children do indeed become tomorrow’s visionaries," said Marilee Jennings, executive director of the Children’s Discovery Museum.

The mural is accompanied by a quotation from a poem by Mario Benedetti. The quote, written in English, Spanish and Vietnamese reads "Don't give up. This is the hour and the best moment."

The mural is a permanent addition to San Jose’s public art scene.