"I don't see how anyone in that situation — anyone who loses a loved one or a friend — could not do something," said Moriarity. "There's such a sense of helplessness … the kind of person that I am, I have to do something. I have to be proactive."
With the help of volunteers, Home Alive continues to conduct self-defense classes and seminars in Zapata's memory. The group stresses that it is not a typical self-defense organization and that it is not just about self-defense. It also tries to teach people ways to diffuse a violent situation in their community before it happens.
"Home Alive has become more than about Mia. It came about because of her but has grown to represent something that goes beyond her murder," said Lynn Stromski, executive director of Home Alive. "We just don't teach people how to kick butt. We are devoted to combating violence not just in our community, but around the world. We teach people techniques for defusing violent situations before they happen."
Moving People From the Grave
Since Jesus Mezquia's arrest, Stromski said, more people have been enrolling in Home Alive classes and seminars. The break in the case — and renewed media exposure for Home Alive — seemed to raise people's consciousness on violence, at least temporarily, Stromski said.
Home Alive is preparing commemorative events in memory of Zapata and the group's 10-year anniversary. In addition, the surviving Gits have been working on a documentary on Zapata and the group's life and times, and Moriarity hopes to have it circulating in film festivals by the fall.
Still, friends believe that even in death, Zapata would not want to be remembered primarily as a singer robbed of her stardom or even for Home Alive, despite its good intentions.
"To this day, people call up and say, 'We just heard The Gits for the first time, and we were so moved. How can we get ahold of more of their music?' " said Storm. "Mia really moved people."
And perhaps that's what was most important to Zapata. A senseless slaying has silenced her and made her forever young — but she continues to sing.