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Released 4/2/2010. Rev. 6/13/2010
Tag Cloud of Contents
in no particular order or size
share this . . . and listen
NEW! Teaching Rebels added 5/12/2010
Storytellers Leaders Dreamers
NEW! Esther Chae joins us 5/12/2010
Friend and media technologist Deanna Zandt wrote in Share This! that “the Internet is serving to replicate age-old patterns of influence. Creating a just society is sort of like the evolution of a species...bring in ...new strains of DNA...create a stronger species” (16). The Audacity of Humanity e-book features new strains of DNA with over 39 contributors ages 10 to 63 from 5 continents representing multiple ethnicities, sexualities, beliefs, abilities and limitations. This book shows how even in our global diversity we are ONE people, one human race. Imagine courageously up-ending stereotypes and generalizations to reveal and embrace the remarkable oneness of our humanity. Each contributor offers a story of authentic leadership and transformation that comes from confronting, not avoiding, difference or what matters to you. That is the freedom to be offended and stay connected. From A to Zed, Audacity is a collective testament to this little light of mine...the audacity of humanity. Read the essays or just read the bios and learn how people and life will not contained by description. The idea for this book started with Seth Godin’s What Matters Now (Dec 2009) where 70 “big thinkers” shared an idea for 2010. Deanna and Lianne Raymond invited me to be part of a women’s version. What’s Dying to Be Born was released on 2010 International Women’s Day. Out of that, I curated this version to speak to even greater diversity to inspire our deepest compassion and power through collaboration and inclusion. I hope you get it. Tweet it. Email it. And blog about it on your own site. “Seth’s message, to all of us imprisoned by our
own self-limiting beliefs, is this: find your true being, your emotional creative heart and follow it full-bore” (Steven Pressfield). It's a good exercise to share your thoughts on our Facebook fan page.
Share your “moral jazz.” Share your willingness to be audacious in situations where you were once silent. Be the audacity of that! (rev. 25 July 2010)
I am a 2009 TED Fellow, a writer, a connector and a singer-songwriter. Welcome to my Twitterdome. I am Kyra Gaunt
(adj) having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that bodies lying beyond are seen clearly.
in Soho at three o’clock in the afternoon, several cabs refused my fare. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. A final driver slowed his cab but still tried to refuse my fare. Locking his doors and cracking his window, he asked where I was headed before he let me in. This. Got. Under. My. Skin. And angry tears came. Still crying the next morning, I could barely speak during the final class. I didn’t know what to say. So I shared about being locked out of catching a cab. I practiced what I preach when I forced myself to ask the driver, “You weren’t going to pick me up because I'm black were you?” He admitted he had taken 3 people [black people] to the Bronx and they hadn’t paid him. In order to stop the madness I had to leave him a decent tip despite his indirect admission. All of the students responded as if racism in the real world had finally reared its head including the “Tony.” He raised his hand and said, “I think everyone should have the opportunity to face their oppressor and if they don’t, I’d apologize to them. Everyone should have that opportunity.” Maybe it was the mediation, my story or both but peace came. A week later I had an epiphany. It was, and is, my responsibility to let go of my blackness in a racism course, to learn to be transparent so to speak. I owe myself that as well as each and every student. I shared that with “Tony” and he holds no grudge.
(rev. 3 Apr 2010; rev. 13 June 2010).
Race may be a pigment of our imagination, but in conversations that offend us, we get stuck. In the fall of 2009 I taught a course on racism at a diverse, business college in New York City. Around midterms, a white student whom I had previously known falsely accused me of saying, “all white people should be killed.” In a ten page single-spaced document he added that I had insisted the course be required as “reparations” for past injustices among other things. During six weeks of brazen discontent “Tony,” let’s call him, colluded with the students—white and black— who were tired of talking about racism after Obama’s election. After a belligerent outburst during class he eventually threatened to sue me. The day before our final class, he and I were in mediation with the Omsbud. I heard him out, even made some concessions, but by meeting’s end I was shaking--convinced that I would be sued. Afterwards, when rushing to a musical rehearsal
I am singer-songwriter and an Associate Professor at Baruch College-CUNY who voices "the unspoken” through song, scholarship and social media. Tweet me @kyraocity. I am that racism is a resource...for being courageous and compassionate. I am Kyra Gaunt.
About 10 years ago I discovered the Internet and its power. Back then it was all about Y2K and how everything was going to blow up. Well, the Internet did blow up it just blew up in a direction that people didn't expect. I tell you, these experts (SMH ;-) All this was before a little bird called Twitter, a TV called YouTube, back when you fell asleep with your face in a book. The world turned around itself a few times since and we're living in a new era. An era that truly allows us to be powerful beyond measure. Not only can we share information online, we are blessed with the opportunity to share information and be heard by the world. As if this wasn't powerful enough we also have the ability to own the media on which the information is created and shared.
Complaining about not being heard is not an option anymore and everyone owes it to themselves to own a piece of the Internet. You do that by publishing yourself online and blessing the world with one of your skills and allowing everyone to be inspired by what you say or do. The technology that we have around, social media and Web design obviously facilitate the process and it doesn't have to cost you much to own a piece of the action. Quite a few people didn't think that what they had to share would be of any value until they tried and realized that the world was patiently waiting for their contribution. A man created a website with a blank page and sold each piece for a dollar and became millionaire. A young girl posted a video of herself singing, getting on a table and falling, others were inspired by it and she ended up on Oprah. Some sing, some dance, some are funny, some are full of knowledge. Be yourself and start sharing a piece of what matters to you with the world. Do it today because we don't know about tomorrow. Do it today because the world has patiently been waiting for YOU. Get online.
I am a professional in the web design industry. I was born and raised in Montreal (Quebec) and moved to Ottawa (Ontario), which I made my home. I help people produce income on the web doing what they love. Tweet me @stevenleconte. I am Steven Leconte.
Recipe for Mixing
Every fall tendrils creep out of my mulch pile, out of my half-eaten debris, carted out religiously after the kitchen scrap bucket holds no more. What climbing plants could these be, wandering from the muck, reaching to warm sunlight? To my delight, the first year these mystery plants bore fruit—pumpkins and carnival squash. The second year, similar leaves and vines crawled along the rich soil, grasping at any stable staff to hoist skyward. The trailing green vines—now bearing pumpkins with speckles, squash, and ornamental gourds—seemed to intertwine sensuously. Caressing gently here. Climbing and interweaving almost competitively there. Prickly broad leaves forming shade, camouflaging fruit below. What’s to hide? Year three, delicate tendrils return. I watch eagerly as each vine sprawls out with whimsical, yet slow dance steps. Later, after the performance, they recline longingly. What secret appears under shaded leaves? Radiant orange hybrids of gourds, squash, pumpkin—striped and speckled pumpkins, carnival squash with gourd knobs, and long gourds wearing stems befitting jack-o-lanterns. Three years of fertile cross-pollination, as one anther’s pollen mingled with the other. None can simply pass for pumpkin, nor squash, nor gourd any longer. The labor from mulch bore no Latin-named offspring. Each vine offers unique offspring with no sense of belonging, except with those traveling along the vine.
I move stories about the body. I am a Japanese American~happa dancer and ethnomusicologist (happa = mixed, criolle, biracial, squash!). I wrote Sensational Knowledge: Embodying Culture through Japanese Dance and I study Monster Truck rallies and human-computer interfaces. I am Tomie Hahn.
I recently read your post about engagement photography and wanted to thank you for the mention. As I write this, I am sitting at the head of my bed about to call it a night and go to sleep. After reading your article, I do agree with your general sentiment. There is undeniable value in documenting the "pre-wedding" or engagement experience. That said, I am shocked by the line: "As long as you don’t pay an outrageous price for the photographer’s services, you certainly won’t regret it." What exactly is an "outrageous price" for photography? I do not believe this to be “outrageous,” this love, this art…a story of creation. As a person dedicated to the mastery of art and community organization, I offer a wedding vow to photographers and their clients. Let me charge you both to remember, that your future happiness is to be found in mutual consideration, patience, kindness, confidence, and affection. We are to be one, undivided. pho·tog·ra·phy \fә-ˈtä-grә-fē\ : noun (2010) The art, practice, or occupation of taking and printing photographs that capture the ethereal, ineffable, stories of life for the future.
The lovechild of a sweltering African son, tempered with a dash of Jamaican jerk, seasoned by a well-read mother goddess who cooks with no books. Marinated in melting pots thick with legacy. Leavened by the cultural yeast of a sleepless city. The yield? One dream walkin' Lightseer. Ready to serve the betrothed @iamparris. I am Parris Whittingham
Photo credit: ©Parris Whittingham
OUTRAGEOUS YOUTH m
Moved as a young child by the disrespectful and inhumane treatment of immigrant workers that I witnessed, I kept in my heart a deep sense of outrage and injustice. There is no force more powerful, it is said, than that of righteous indignation. Increasingly frustrated in my early college years by the one-dimensional portrayal throughout media of Middle Eastern youth – a portrayal virtually unanswered because of censorship and state control of media in the region - I took to my keyboard to answer with my own voice, to show not only the diversity of ethnicities, religions, and cultures in the region, but also the diversity of opinion, fervor, ideals, hopes, and politics; to portray for the first time in the global discourse Middle Eastern youth in all our depth, our feelings, and our complexity. I was joined over time by a growing number of similar voices, declaring in unison that we are Muslim and moderate, idealistic and hopeful, Jewish and peaceful; we are Christians, Baha’is, Sunnis and Shias; Persians and Arabs; Turks, Berbers and Kurds, and we are all here so that the world hears us in our own voices. We are humanity, with feelings and dreams that unite us with the rest of the world.
I am the director of Mideast Youth I am a TED Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow and a fighter for minority civil rights and free speech in the Middle East. My latest project is MidEast Tunes: Music for Social Change. I am Esra'a Al Shafei.
A Climate Change
Taking this picture, in the face of palpable yet misdirected hostility, made me reflect on how easily divided we are as a species. How even the name "United Nations" does not convey a unity of people nor purpose. Rather it conveys divided national identities and bureaucracies that in reality separate us from each other. For what is it to be French or English? To consider yourself American or Chinese? To imagine that you are Indian or African? Is it to appear somehow special by seeing anyone else as "other," as “outsider”? Our geographical labels would appear as ridiculous to any alien as they do to most geneticists or to indeed any Buddhist. They no longer serve us because the separation that once informed our cultural pride has become a millstone preventing the changes we need to make as a people not of many nations, nor of separate geographies. We are a single species that has taken over the Earth and we are busy making a mess of it. In the moment when I took this photo, I saw that we are only a people of one homeworld and that homeworld is imperiled by childish bickering.
Angry frustration boils over and the mob pushes forward their hastily assembled placards disintegrating in the scrum. Security, caught flat-footed, scramble to prevent chaos and yet the actions of a few “peaceful” non-government organization members will hasten the banning of many people of good will from attending the remainder of the United Nations 2010 Climate Change Conference of the Parties No. 15 in Copenhagen.
I am half chinese australian from Earth :-). I am the special diplomatic envoy for St Kitts and Nevis for sustainable development and the environment. I wrote Stone Soup: The Secret Recipe for Making Something from Nothing. I am an entrepreneur and philanthropist who tweets @liaonet. I am Bill Liao.
Ruthless compassion. A spirituality that makes way for rage. A body politic that can forgive. A generous commerce. A unified diversity. It’s feminine-fire-fueled. It’s round like eggs. It’s spine roots back to the beginning. A tree will conspire to speed the death of it’s own branches as symptoms of disease surface. It’s how some of us vote, or yell on behalf of the silenced. It’s how we call crazy on its shit, and declare with hollers, and touch, and laughter that, The heart is sane! We can speed the dying (it can hurt.) Karatechop greed. Puncture silicon. Carve up pretense and principles too small for how big we really are. Let the heart make the way -- she will anyhow, by plow or by whisper, by angst or by grace. The genius heart is being born. She loves fiercely, wholly, and now. The beauty of our DNA is dying to be born: an acceptance of the order of chaos; the reverence of High Priestesses in the grocery store; the force of incredibly tender men; the critical necessity of senses that transcend technology.
I am the creator of WhiteHotTruth.com...because self realization rocks. I am an inspirational speaker and strategist, I help entrepreneurs light up their career with my signature Fire Starter Sessions. Tweet me @daniellelaporte. I am Danielle LaPorte.
If we are one, then what matters to me is what’s of interest to you.
share this . . . someone’s waiting
We can’t start perfectly and beautifully, but if we’re willing to start by accepting our neuroses and basic chaos, we have a stepping-stone. Don’t be afraid of being a fool. Start as a fool. –Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Tibetan) One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change. Every society has its protectors of the status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change. –Martin Luther King, Jr. (African)
I do not believe there is anything impossible. I feel that when you do not see your strength, your pride, and your soul, and you do not want to deal with something, you call it impossible. –Yogi Bhajan (Indian)
ABUJA - MARCH, 23, 2010 - AFTERNOON
I am writing from a dusty classroom in Nigeria’s fairly quiet capital, Abuja. the theme Gangsta's Paradise from Hollywood movie Dangerous Minds is playing in my head. Three weeks ago, I came to teach Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy's newly formed Nigeria campus. Somehow I missed the memo about playing Michelle Pfeiffer’s character teaching "gangster rebels’ in a Nollywood version of the film.
They say I gotta learn But nobody's here to teach me. If they can't understand it, how can they reach me?
Tell me why are we / So blind to see. That the ones we hurt / Are you and me?
I had to laugh at the use of the word "rebels." My students are 'rebels' indeed. My rebels are the ones actually defying violence and conflict in their region; the ones who traveled from far and further afar to come to Abuja to learn filmmaking, acting, editing and animation. These are eager young 20somethings desperate for a creative outlet for their war-weary wings to fly. Each has a story of how they got here--cousins who applied on their behalf, church pastors who reached out, radio advertisements they heard while driving. They are committed and they are here. These are rebels armed with art and the power of storytelling. Right now their pen has to be mightier than the sword. These are the leaders of tomorrow. They are rebels without machetes or guns but with pens, scripts and art in hand. I look around my classroom. I know many of them will become the Nouvelle Vague of Nigerian entertainment, if not civic leaders. I hum and nod my head to the theme song Gangsta's Paradise with a smile as my ‘rebel students’ rehearse their scenes...quiet on set, please! I am hoping to fulfill my casting as the inspirational teacher that they will never forget…Action!
A screenwriting student mentions that the Nigerian press wrote we were here to ‘rehabilitate the rebels of the Niger Delta region;’ the southeastern area between Lagos and Cameroon, home to 9 Nigerian tribes whose land contains vast reserves of oil. It is the seat of horrific bloodshed and violence as the conflict between disenfranchised populations, oil company conglomerates and the government plays out. On March 17th, 2010, just 10 days after our team of US instructors arrived, there was a brutal massacre of more than 500 civilians, mostly children and women in nearby Jos. It was another sickening cyclic retaliation due to differing political, religious beliefs and ethnic background (all which are too complex for me to decipher).
I am a Polymathic artist= actor + writer + thought leader of Korean cultural descent with a fierce traveling horse spirit. I am Esther Kyung-ju (Celebrating Pearl) Chae
The Other “N” Word
There is an “N” word that I repeatedly face that evokes revulsion in me. It's “Nuts.” It is used to describe a person suffering from a mental illness. Though some do not find this “N” word to be as vulgar as "n*gger," I find this word to be equally offensive as a person living with a serious mental illness. It is challenging enough for me to be black, female, poor, and have come from an unconventional family with an undesirable upbringing. It’s far more challenging to live with a mental illness and endure the discrimination and prejudice that comes packaged with the diagnosis. My mental illness has been like a double edge sword. First there is the actual devastation of the diagnosis--having your hopes and dreams trampled and replaced with emotional upset, psychiatrist visits, medications, hospitalizations, therapy appointments and support groups. If that is not enough there’s the misconceptions, stigma, and discrimination which can be even more disabling the actual illness itself. I know what this is like firsthand. I was forced to leave a college due to my mental illness. I have lost jobs. I’ve lost housing. Lost friendships. I have had people constantly underestimate my ability. “Well, you don’t really 'look' like you have a mental illness," they say. So what does it really look like? I’ve also heard I am too “smart” and “well spoken” to have a mental illness. Mental illness does not rob you of your intellectual aptitude. My last semester in college I was hospitalized 5 times, yet I still managed to make the Dean’s List. The time has come for those in recovery from mental illness, like myself, to take our place in the sun and challenge the stigma and stereotypes posed by societies. I challenge these stereotypes daily by getting up, exercising, going to work, smiling, and volunteering in my community despite my feelings and the side effects of my medication. So do me a favor, next time you see me, don’t refer to me as “Nuts.”
I am a strong black woman who refuses to succumb to the adversities I've faced in life. I am a passionate advocate for people in recovery from a mental illness. My story was featured in “Firewalkers: Changing the Story of Mental Health.” I could be your next door neighbor. I am Myra Anderson.
My village in Arusha, Tanzania did not have good schools. So, I started Shepherds Junior School in 2003 with money I raised from a small chicken farm. I began with only 10 students. With the help of Epic Change, now I serve more than 411 kids and my school is currently ranked #2 in my district out of 118 schools. Find me on twitter @MamaLucy. I am Mama Lucy Kamptoni.
I asked a few of my students and teachers to write something about me. Before the time to go home, they wrote these responses. I was thrilled to read what they wrote. It was my opportunity to learn who I am -- though I'm not very sure if what they wrote is true or it's just because we love each other. :-) Nihad Salim: "I started learning at this school since I was six years old; Now I am 12. Mama Lucy is a founder of our school Shepherds Junior. She is a hard-working mama. She is kind. She loves us and I love her very much." Leah Albert: "I joined Shepherds Junior 6 years ago when I was in Nursery. Now I am in class 6. When our school started, there was no cook. Mama Lucy cooked for us tea or porridge. May God bless Mama Lucy to live a long life. Thank you."
could carry 10 children. Now our school is having 1 big bus from Epic Change and 3 school vans.” Teacher Lillian, a founder teacher: "Mama Lucy is a founder and School Manager of Shepherds Junior. She works very close and likes to share ideas with her workers compared to some other bosses. She always work hard to see the problem is solved. She is a person who never gives up. Thank you!” Teacher Nancy - Class 6 teacher and Academic Mistress: “I first met Mama Lucy year 2006 when she employed me. She is a role model to our community; a woman who never fails in her ambitions.” Gideon Gidori: “Mama Lucy is a very intelligent and a person who works hard so that we can get good education. I am proud of Shepherds Junior.” Follow our TwitterKids including Glory Abraham on Twitter (click links). Thank you, Mama Lucy
Kelvin Yudah: “When I started school [five years ago], she used her small Toyota Corolla to take pupils to school and return them back home. It
I am a seasoned photographer from New York City specializing in live events to maximize publicity and exposure. I have created a repertoire of unique images from over 25 years of photography experience. I am Carl Nunn.
The Last Apartheid
As a trainer, I found it hard to believe when people tell me they don't like to drink water. No Water. No Life. No Water. No Food. We cannot exist without it. But everyday water is being separated from people by major corporations around the world while we take water for granted. We are living in times when our fresh water supply is being polluted and it's contributing to learning disabilities and birth defects. Clean water is a children's issue of justice. If the chemicals in our water today can feminize male frogs, what impact do you think it has on humans? Or on the hormonal balances of men and women? The petrochemicals in the plastic containers we buy have
been known to cause breast cancer and infertility. Clean water is a gender issue of justice. Water, sold in single-serving plastic bottles, is responsible for hundreds of tons of plastic waste, the release of hundreds of tons of carbon dioxide, and millions of gallons of crude oil used for the manufacture and transportation of the bottles. Clean water is a sustainability issue of justice. By buying a home filtration system you could be spending 8¢ per gallon versus 25¢ per gallon for the plastic-bottled water bought from a corner store or local grocer. We are being sold tap water in unregulated bottles labeled "spring water". Richard Wilk, a professor of anthropology at Indiana University, who studied the industry, wrote "The bottled water industry takes a free liquid that falls from the sky and sells it for as much as four times what we pay for gas." Clean water is a cost-of-living issue of justice. Lack of access to clean water is separating us from healthy children, from wellness in men and women, from our income, from a sustainable planet, and ultimately from our very lives. Separated from our very existence this could be the last Apartheid. Diversity won’t matter without clean water.
I am a Certified Personal Trainer and wellness consultant in New York City. I think taking responsibility for our health in an act of self love. We need the proper nutrition, we need to detox and we need to drink clean water. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am Ivan Trudeau.
The social sector has gotten stuck. We have confused energy and vision with meaningless mission statements and empty slogans featuring words like “eradication”, “sustainability”, and “collaboration”. We promise our donors and investors that we have found the way to end pollution, disease, hunger, and social injustice. We paint these grandiose pictures akin to that of the millennium development goals (MDGs), and then we wonder why our donors are beginning to ask us where their money is going. People are still poor. The slave trade is still thriving. Children are still hungry. Carbon dioxide emissions remain excessive. All realities that leave us with a question of, “Have we actually done anything at all?” Yes, we have. We have developed ready-to-use-therapeutic-food to address issues of malnutrition. We have provided millions of dollars in loans to foster entrepreneurship in the developing world. We have
used SMS technology to connect people to healthcare and food. We have even set up voluntary carbon markets to hone and incentivize environment-friendly processes. We are doing good work. But we are growing increasingly lazy in the way that we tell our stories. In fact, I’ll take it one step further – we are lying. People are asking for measurements of success and many of us do not have them – at least, not the ones we promised. Using buzz words instead of creative and honest language to convey the work we are doing is disrespectful to the people and communities we serve. If you do choose to promise to eradicate poverty, I challenge you to do this in front of an audience of children in the slums of Kenya. If you choose to promise to stop the international sex trade, do it while looking into the eyes of the young rape victims in your own city. And if you choose to promise a future for all children, I dare you to do so while sitting with a mother who knows that the AIDS that claimed her husband’s life will soon claim hers. They will all ask how. And they deserve a clearly defined answer.
I am young woman with a fierce passion for amplifying unheard voices. I am a consultant for international non-profits. I love music, art, culture, and vibrance. I graduate from Indiana University with an MPA in May 2010. Tweet me @amycarolwolff. And I am saved by the grace of Jesus Christ. I am Amy Carol Wolff.
I baked for nine months in my mama’s tummy and came out right on time during the Winter of 1980. But in Louisiana, our winters are more like happy autumns without the tenacity to carry the bitterness and meanness of a real freeze. I was a fat baby and brown like a good roux; browner so like pralines and pecan pies done right. I grew into a brown girl with plaits and knobby knees, legs good for double dutch and Vaseline on bony edges. When I was six, I had a birthday party and all my school friends were invited. One of my classmates gave me a doll and she had alabaster skin, great big blue eyes and two long blonde plaits, one down each side tied at the end with a blue ribbon. After the party was over, my mama took the doll away and told me that brown girls need brown dolls and that was that. The hard truth came via middle school when I learned that brown girls weren’t the color that pretty makes. There was a hierarchy -- boys liked the light skinned girls the best but long silky hair was a close second. They didn’t mind a little fat as long as you definitely had number one and better if you could complement number one with number two. Pretty was a currency that could be bartered for popularity, recognition, and attention. During adolescence and young adulthood my brown girlness wasn’t reflected in the fashion magazines I read or the television I watched. I wondered, what color does pretty make? It seemed to me that pretty was well pretty cliquish -- only allowing a selected few into the group, never fully realizing the rest of us who stood right outside her purview. I decided to find my own pretty, for me, and I found her within. I am the color that pretty makes and I love her Boldly.
I am an African American transplant from Southwest Louisiana living in the Big Apple. A writer of books, essays and blogs. I love to cook, and absolutely love to read. I tweet at @cocacy. I am the thirtymilewoman Courtney Young.
Sex is just but one dialect from the lexicon of the body’s language. We concern ourselves with the act of having sex or initiating the procreative process as a central meaning when speaking about sexuality. To refer to me as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, straight or otherwise grants you a peep hole perspective into my very personal horizontal existence. And with this limited view, which is not yours to imagine or judge from the outset, you loose the potential to comprehend who I am and what I may need to express when positioned otherwise. When I talk about my sexuality I’m not speaking about how and who I have sex with. I’m expressing the same with my hands, legs, smile, eyebrows and lips an army of ideas, emotions, intellectual viewpoints and quiet connections. Our sexuality is an underused doorway to a robust comprehension of both strangers and community. There is a sincerity in the way my body reacts to your words and their multitude of possible meanings. I propose instead of using these rigid and uniformed ideas of sexuality and gender expression as safeguards we begin to observe, listen and accept the dialogue of our bodies. I simply suggest we include, explore and use the body’s language when forming our identities and impressions of one another. We may find that attraction does not always mean sex but the potential for understanding that predicates creativity.
I'm everything I've been and still collecting: Playwright, filmmaker, musician and speaker. I am Hanifah Walidah.
Type to enter text It seized my flesh and bones and left me paralyzed. But I knew I couldn’t stay there. Despite my misgivings about the conflict, I had to honor my commitment to my country, my fellow troops, to myself. Each day my faith and sanity were under attack, but I returned fire, refused to surrender to it. I knew that I couldn’t give up because I had an obligation – to present myself a living testimony to what faith and courage can do. Since then, I have turned in my rifle and combat boots, but now I’m better-equipped for the real fight. With each challenge, I don’t always know why I have to go, but I’m always glad that I did.
I was a soldier in the United States Army National Guard, and after years of serving only one weekend a month, I was headed for the war in Iraq. The year was 2005. I couldn’t understand why I had to go. Why did I have to interrupt college, a critical point in my life, to support a war that I wasn’t sure had validity? When my boots first hit the tan earth, I had no idea what to expect. All the training under my belt was theoretical. It didn’t map out the direction a tour of duty would take every day or how it would turn out. I found myself with something to fear other than the threat of mortars, IEDs and gunfire. Uncertainty.
I am named for a beautiful, bright lotus that grows in a murky stream and blossoms for just a few hours at night. I am an instrument created by the Lord to illuminate places where there is no light. Tweet me @kamalalane. I am Kamala Lane.
How not to give money to charities working in Africa 4. Consider visiting an African country and/or NGO to see for yourself before donating. 5. Do not write a cheque or set up a direct debit before asking for proof of how the money will be spent. Not all charities are accountable. 6. Target charities with a sharp focus on health, new technologies, empowerment, education, infrastructure, rape centres, climate change, water, agriculture, etc. 7. Do not forget to empower local individuals in/ from Africa. Invest in learning from them. Invest in teaching and learning with that person so she/ he can pass the knowledge on to others in the community. 8. Finally, make friends in Africa and find partners and doers that can help you get involved in ongoing or stagnant projects. There is no need to reinvent the wheel.
(Originally posted March 6th, 2010. Visit http://bit.ly/ dwSM81 for more tips).
Thousands of well-meaning people around the world give regularly to charities or want to donate or get involved in some way but are unsure of the best way to go about it. Many of these people lack knowledge of the real issues on the ground affecting ordinary Africans. They are often unaware of alternative, more hands-on strategies to donate that can sometimes give better, more tangible results and are ultimately more satisfying for all concerned. So here are 8 tips and donation strategies. 1. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that Africa is all about poverty. It is extremely rich in resources both human and natural. 2. Do not forget that there are 53 countries in Africa. 3. Do not forget that governments (Western and non-Western) are often incompetent, shortsighted, and/or corrupt when it comes to aid to Africa.
I was born in Senegal, West Africa. I am a London-based philanthropist, CEO, social entrepreneur, blogger and mom. I have a passionate commitment to empower my fellow Africans through education and social entrepreneurship. I tweet from London, Paris, Dakar, and New York @mjamme. I am Mariéme Jamme.
A KILLER IDEA
I notice if I'm asked to point someone out, if that person is black, I hesitate. Will it be the right word? Will I say it the right way? It's like part of you has to die in order to live with the world that way. Two years ago I traveled from the U.K. to San Francisco to attend the Conference for Global Transformation in 2008. One of the workshops I attended was called Agree to Be Offended: Curious Connections in Conversations of Race facilitated by Kyra Gaunt. It was standing room only with 50 participants from the US, Canada and even Europe where some individuals insist racism doesn't exist. Kyra took us beyond the usual rigmarole about skin color and explained how people think that merely talking about race is what separates us. The problem has little to do with skin color, and everything to do with how we resist conversations that offend us. We take things personally, get offended, and then we're stuck. All that's left is gossip or avoidance. Then, she had us share our earliest memories of learning about racism--how old we were, who was there and what happened. That memory can be a "useful failure" for discovering why racism persists and how ordinary people– avoiding something that happened when they were small—unwittingly perpetuate it with their silence. It's been two years and Kyra and I have become partners in promoting what I think is a killer idea. Agree to Be Offended and Stay Connected™. It is our listening, not our judgment, that can make a difference. Otherwise, who is the separatist? I have a whole new way of looking at racism. Transparency is available as well as the disappearance of the whole question of race. By presencing or saying what offends us in the moment, we get to put our hands on and truly grasp how it's going to go. I have a whole new take on racism as a resource for being courageous and compassionate. It's not about the end of racism -and that is NOW possible -- but rather the end of its power over us.
! am a southern geordie with no accent from north east enger-land. With pa(mi)ssion, ! adjust your listening : ! mentor individuals and small groups to have them find & design their pa(mi)ssion to be. Email me @ email@example.com. ! am L¡z Marley.
“If you think you’re too small to have an impact, try going to sleep with a mosquito in the room” – Anita Roddick. community. They have the autonomy to choose where their money goes so they can see firsthand how powerful the process can be. Eventually, Koro and her collective decided to allocate 5% of their profits to the health clinics of Project Muso, a non-profit and our local partner. 5% amounts to 21,926 West African Francs (CFA) x 30 women = about $45 US dollars. As the profits came in, there was a dramatic shift in attitude. Koro and her fellow entrepreneurs were excited! Their own hard-earned dollars were now being used to pay for the community’s health services. They were proud of their ability to do good for others while also benefiting themselves. Not only were they sustaining their families, but they also saw a more lasting, intangible return: empowerment. To the community at large these women became leaders, standing for something more than just their craftwork. All we had to do was let them choose their impact!
Reading this quote was the first of many defining moments for me. It changed what I thought I wanted to do with my life and career, and what I believed I was capable of achieving. Just think of how long mosquito bites can itch! What could I do in some small way that would have the same lasting value, impact? In one of InVenture's first pilot programs in Bamako, Mali, we began working with a female cooperative of thirty Bogolan artisans including teenagers, mothers, and grandmothers well into their 60s. Bògòlanfini cloth, aka "earthcloth" or "mudcloth", is a traditional woven fabric dyed with fermented mud. Korotommu Ye was the leader. A mother of seven, Koro was very entrepreneurial, always among the top-ranked students in her class. The cooperative was doing well, but it wasn't growing. Their debt was eating away any significant gains. Koro (as well as the others) was initially hesitant about donating any of her profits, even if the money would improve her own 'community'. And as soon a business begins to turn a profit, InVenture Fund asks them to reinvest in their
I am an Indian woman who can't live without exclamation points and believes that no one is too small to have an impact. I tweet about InVenture Fund @shivsiroya and I am Shivani Siroya
There are many restorative justice systems. The one I’ve studied is Restorative Circles (RC), a system originally developed by Dominic Barter in the shanty towns, schools, courts and prisons of urban Brazil. I am a bit embarrassed to champion it, because I fell into it rather recently, but RC fits with my belief system and values so completely, I cannot imagine writing about anything else for this project. Restorative Circles provide a way for individuals and communities to handle conflicts, including racial conflicts, compassionately rather than punitively, as well as to heal and learn from these conflicts. To the uninitiated, restorative processes may appear idealistic and naive. After all, they reject the two core aspects of the traditional justice system: the assignment of blame and the administration of punishment. Instead, the goal of the Circle is for the parties involved in the conflict to first gain mutual understanding of the others’ experiences and needs and then to restore or build a mutually satisfying relationship. Talking is involved, so is listening. Lots of listening. But it’s a decidedly different type of talk than people usually engage in, and it's not just talk. The restorative process is designed to lead to voluntary (and they really are voluntary!) acts offered to repair or restore the relationship. The two words are not synonymous. Reparative acts have to do with compensation -- paying for a broken window is a reparative act -- while restorative acts are those whose value is largely symbolic, like a heart-felt apology. It’s certainly not surprising that people prefer to have both, but, according to Barter, if they can only have one, there is a strong preference for acts that are restorative. And yet, restorative processes aren’t, at the heart of it, about apologies. They’re about mutual understanding and connection. Too often racial conflict is addressed with (legitimate) accusations. Denial ensues. Feelings are hurt. At the end, no one feels good about what happened. Restorative processes offer an alternative, one that connects people and leaves them satisfied. Right now, nothing in my anti-racism work gives me more meaning or more hope.
I am a Soviet-born, U.S.-raised psychologist, scholar and activist focused on race relations and popular culture. I blog for Psychology Today and OpEdNews, where I am the managing editor. I tweet @MikhailL I have no known mutant powers but provided regular Congressional testimony opposing the Mutant Registration Act. I am Mikhail Lyubansky.
Keeping Connected To Our Families´ Cultures And Languages Walang Título de tierra hangang tierra lumalakad ang tao en busca de un puente a bridge para sa dormir para sa trabajo para sa ver las cosas chismised about in barangays back home first languages are not easily defined and third world defines simply the purposeful poverty of our peoples caminamos en las calles pero puede nakita sino ang bago ditothe fresh off the boats and those who've grown into a swagger sipodemos intindihan ang kanta amerikano y hindi hirap to translate ang sulat de seguridad social o de los hospitales o del gobierno cuando nuestros padres worry their english isn't enough anak, hijas de inmigrantes we are hindi tayo parejo lumake kami dito un lugar con fronteras and that has made all the difference de nuestras comunidades somos y no somos hindi ko alam ang momento cuando we became more american than not.
I am an actor/dancer/singer/writer/violinist/community worker born and raised in NYC. I perform stateside and abroad. I facilitate Red Tents and organize arts and activist workshops in the communities- from schools, prisons, and your local homey´s house. I am Jennifer Cendaña Armas.
For Translation Keeping Connected To Our Families´ Cultures And Languages Walang Título from land to land walk the people looking for a bridge ng tulay to be able to sleep to be able to work to see those things gossiped en los barrios back home es difícil para explicar las lenguas primeras at third world = la pobreza de ng tao we walk the streets but you can spot los nuevosang fresh off the boats y el pueblo que han crecido una manera de pagmamalaki yeswe understand american songs and translate letters from the social security office the hospital the government when mag-alala our parents porque mga ingles no es suficiente somos the children of immigrants but we are not the same we've grown up here this bordered homefront at esa es la diferencia we are and are not from where we are from I can´t pinpoint that exact moment when hemos crecido mas norte americanos que no.
Reach me at Lapulapu17@hotmail.com. I am the flipside of Jennifer Cendaña Armas.
the most successful marketing campaign ever. the mark of a great marketing campaign is when the idea or slogan transcends the product. it attaches to the cultural consciousness, and when attached to the product, makes the product greater. for instance, nike’s campaign, “Just Do It’ began to be applied to everything from winning a basketball game, to graduating from college, to giving birth. it’s now a part of our cultural vocabulary. another example is the 1930s advertising phrase ‘a diamond is forever’ promoting the idea that one was simply necessary to cement an engagement. diamonds were NOT traditionally associated with marriage or engagement. but the concept has become so entrenched in our culture most of us have no idea it originated as marketing. racism, as we know it, was also implemented as a marketing ploy. the goal of this campaign was to devalue human beings to the status of
chattel. this had to be accomplished in order for other human beings to be able to kidnap, buy, sell, torture, maim, rape, kill, and work them to death, while maintaining a sense of their moral correctness. the product was slavery. a free work force. you couldn’t have a free work force if everyone was catching feelings every time someone dropped dead from exhaustion, screamed for their stolen child, etc. in order to ’sell’ the idea that human beings should be treated as chattel, the marketing message was, ‘these people are not like you and me, they are different, inferior, subhuman.’ it was entrenched enough that it could be handily applied to dismantling reconstruction efforts, segregating bathrooms and burial plots, and instituting jim crow laws. so, that’s that. as the world changed, the applications have changed, but the fact that racism can still be used, for example, as a wedge issue in an election to rouse people to vote against their own self-interest out of fear, is proof of the power of the marketing message. compound that w/the fact that this country has been pushing this advertising for four centuries. that’s a LOT of brand recognition.
I am a multimedia artist, filmmaker, husband and dad currently trying to condense all that I am into a palatable catchphrase. Tweet me @exittheapple.I am Pierre Bennu.
30 edited/big words by jamyla bennu Longer version available at http://exittheapple.com Feb 20, 2010. Image from International Slave Museum website
Standards. Musings Installation 2006
I am a black Buddhist, world loving, american woman, visual artist. I am a muse performance painter, professor of art, and mother of a teenaged planet. I create large scale studio works and commissions. For me, Art is Life... and withholding it from school children is a crime. I am Marcia Jones.
What starts with being inspired will almost always devolve into being safe, being liked and playing small. Dare to break out of that to live your life as a creation. To lead the inspired life the visionary must be bold, and all of us have an inner visionary dying to be set free. It’s about giving the gift you’re here to give with flair and style, because life is in love with seduction. Trust yourself and power and freedom will emanate from you and resonate in the world in ways that will surprise you. Act like you mean it and you’ll find your tribe, and together you’ll love and fight ruthlessly and energetically. Be the genius you are and the world will listen to you. In the end, the audacity to live fully alive is it’s own greatest reward.
I am a Consultant and Coach. I work with individuals, groups and organizations around the world to access their deepest power. I am also a jazz saxophonist, a poet and a student of the world's wisdom. I live with my beloved Joy Perreras in Boise, Idaho. I am Brian McFadin.
History is not the past, it is how we recount the past. The way in which history is told, particularly in the classroom, plays a vital role in shaping our world view. It is precisely because of this sociological influence that it is imperative that history be taught in a complete and honest manner. Unfortunately, history is usually used as a means for local boosterism (at best) or ideological propaganda (at worst). One salient example is how the history of institutionalized slavery during Canada's first 200 years has been kept out of Canadian history textbooks, classrooms, and collective social consciousness. Omitting this substantial part of the nation’s development from the curriculum has deprived and continues to deprive generations of the ability to identify the connection between the practice of slavery and the rise of racism and white privilege. Part of the reason that Canada's slave history is absent to begin with is that early historians left it out.
For example, slavery officially ended in Québec (then known as Nouvelle France) on August 1, 1834. In 1845, François-Xavier Garneau wrote Histoire du Canada—the first book to chronicle the history of the Québec people—in which he describes the practice of slavery as a "great and terrible plague... unknown under our northern sky." Garneau was 25 years old when slavery ended in Québec. He worked as a notary and civil servant, so he would have been fully aware of the institution of slavery; he may very well have notarized some bills of sale for slaves himself! It seems inconceivable that someone could deny something that was so ubiquitous just 10 years prior. Imagine it’s 2005 and a Hutu in Kigali writing that there was no genocide in 1994—madness! Racism is perpetuated by ignorance. Unless we start telling the truth in our history, and not just the bits that make us feel good about ourselves or fit an agenda, there is little hope of fulfilling the real need for a restorative justice that honors our human equity (the wealth found in our connectedness despite any difference)—which is essential in a just society.
I am a musician, writer and independent filmmaker with a particular interest in social justice issues. I regularly blog at Race-Talk.org and I am currently directing the documentary “A Past, Denied: The Invisible History of Slavery in Canada.” I tweet @apastdenied and I am Mike Barber.
The legal system is not designed for the evolution of man. I have lived in the United States since my mother and I arrived as lawful permanent residents, in 1971, when I was a year old. My parents were born in Haiti, but I was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo while my father was working there. I served two years in prison for a wrongful drug conviction in the state of Maine. Because the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) mishandled my mother's application for naturalization, I was not certified as a U.S. citizen, as I should have been, before my eighteenth birthday in 1988. Since neither Haiti nor the Congo would accept me as a citizen, I've spent over 21 months in immigration-related detention in a country I call home. While detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April of 2009, 70 to 100 other detainees at the Port Isabel Detention Center in
Los Fresnos, Texas joined me and two others in a hunger strike. We wanted to raise consciousness about immigrant detention that violates human rights as well as due process in the U.S. The prolonged immigration detention that I and many others have been and continue to be subjected to is unjust and unconstitutional. Since the vast majority of people detained do not understand immigration or constitutional law their human and civil rights are being violated. Most are detained indefinitely. Many are shipped around the country, in violation of their human rights. They are shipped away from their family and all their legal resources. The government does not provide attorneys. Many American families are being destroyed because of this process. Detainees end up giving up, signing out, and letting themselves be deported, because they cannot deal with detention for 12, 24, 36 months or more. It’s important that people understand that this is a civil process, not a criminal process. My goal is to end immigration detention as we know it.
I am an African American of Haitian descent. I am an immigrantrights activist and a leader outside/within immigration detention centers in the U.S.. I am a multimedia entertainment producer and entrepreneur. Contact me about Activism at the Speed of Thought© at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am Rama Carty.
Koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi Indian expression meaning “life out of balance”.
What needs to happen when we have young men among us who stab or shoot someone who ‘looks at them the wrong way’? Who are we, and who do we need to be? I live in London, UK. But I pose this question to all of us – we live in one world after all, don’t we? Some years ago, I went to a show featuring Shaolin monks. I was rapt in their spectacular feats and mental power. They seemed super-human. Afterwards, a beautiful monk was interviewed and took questions via a translator. He said he and his colleagues were highly trained killers. They’d been, from a very young age, intensively and rigorously trained in violence. It stayed with me. We’re all training intensively, rigorously, in something. Collectively, we’ve been feeding our young people what we’re trained in: instant gratification; the fetishisation of consumer goods and unregulated capital. Koyaanisqatsi. Still.
We are responsible for having fed this culture to our young people, some of whom have metabolised it well and are now reflecting it back at us. Magnified, maybe. The young men who have gone the way of the knife and gun deem their retaliation imperative; to them, the ‘bad look’ in their direction is an attack against which they must defend themselves. We are aghast at their behaviour – but I find myself counting the heads of state that modelled this behaviour in the first place. The beautiful Shaolin monk said something else: he and his fellow monks were also equally highly trained in religion and philosophy – training which he said was vital. Vital. Without it, they would be out of control highly trained killers. With it, they were balanced. Maybe being balanced means the monks are empowered to maximise their human potential in the area of the breathtaking martial arts feats of which they are capable. Maybe that’s an essentially human quality – and nothing to do with being super-human at all. Could it be that prioritising being balanced is a simple, yet powerful, human answer? We live in one world. We’re all in it together. And a knife or gun in anyone’s hand is also in yours and mine.
I am a daughter of One People, Out of Many, following the Jamaican national motto. The many includes the UK, where I was born and raised, and all the places I’ve visited so far. I work with young people and I write and observe life. Reach me at email@example.com. I am Heather Imani.
I have suffered with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma since I was a child but despite having to sometimes use walking sticks and inhalers I had a very busy life. I was married with a family and foster children. I was thirty-six years old when my husband and I divorced. I decided to go to university and was accepted at Manchester University in September 1985, doing a social science degree. My sister Katy and my friends had been worried about my health, but I was determined to go. In my second year, it was discovered I had a heart condition. I asked my tutors if I could take my 5pm class in my faculty (or discipline), on the ground floor, where a room was free, and was told “no -- we might need it”. I was forced to climb the stairs to my tutorial, every Monday, on all-fours making my hands and knees filthy. One day, a dozen female students arranged to meet on campus and go for a meal. After some discussion one of the women said, “Lets go into town then decide”. Suddenly they ran across the road and jumped into a group of taxis, leaving just me and another student standing alone. There was no way I could catch up with them on crutches. I asked the other student “why did they do that?” She looked embarrassed and replied, “They’re uncomfortable with your disability”. And these were women who constantly talked about “women’s rights”! I gained my degree and began giving talks on child abuse hoping to continue my studies later. However, one day coming home from a talk at Oxford University I collapsed and was rushed to hospital where it was discovered my rheumatoid arthritis was so bad I would need a wheelchair. I also had diabetes and a problem with my lungs. I was forty-one, had just become a grandma and had been looking forward to taking my grandson to the park. This, coupled with having to give up my studies, was devastating. The wheelchair changed my life beyond belief; I was rarely invited to the theatre or to restaurants, or people chose inaccessible locations. “Friends” who had been frequent visitors to my home now rarely came unless they needed something, and eventually some “friends” told me they “couldn’t cope with my disability” and seemed really shocked when I retorted, “You don’t cope with my disability. I DO!”.
I am a 63 year-old, English woman of Irish descent. I love doing crafting and garden designs. I write so people can read about more than just celebrities. Find me on Facebook in my latest vehicle. I am Sheila Howe.
My mom saved me and four siblings from starvation under the Khmer Rouge in 1976. She used her rudimentary ability to speak a foreign language as our passport into Vietnam. Her ability was so basic that she didn't know she had given the boys girls' names and the girls boys' names until a nice Vietnamese lady pointed out the error. This generous stranger tutored my mom for the next three days before her language exam. When my mom passed away in October 2009 at the age of 73, I realized that for her justice delayed had become justice denied. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but the expression “justice delayed is justice denied” had never really sunk in until her passing. As an observant Buddhist, mom probably had the last word. She always said that no matter what happened to the Khmer Rouge leadership in their current lifetime, Karmic justice would prevail in the next: They would be reborn as cockroaches. I am certain that this belief has helped millions of survivors cope with the reality that, after more than three decades since the fall of the Khmer Rouge, not a single leader has been held to account. When I filed my civil complaint in 2008 with the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, I was required to outline what compensation I wanted. When I said I didn’t want any compensation, that this isn’t about money, it’s about justice for the past and accountability for the future, you could have heard a pin drop. I should have said that I would like my father and brother back but no amount of compensation can do that. Justice in that sense is meaningless. My hope is that in the not-too-distant future the next Pol Pot might have to think twice about genocide. Based on 18 March 2010 NYT Op-Ed "Khmer Rouge Tribunal vs. Karmic Justice".
I am a pentalingual Khmerican, TED Fellow, and professor born by mother Cam Youk Lim and her life-saving languages of love. See Column 14, Row 4 of the PhotoMosaic of images from her life, on the next page, representing a portrait of us in Vietnam. Watch Escaping the Khmer Rouge at TED.com. Find me on Twitter @sophal_ear. I am the son named Sophal Ear.
Click here to view PhotoMosaic by Sophal Ear in detail. Created with AndreaMosaic freeware.
We need the courage and patience to fill the deadly silence brought on by words like terrorist, heteronormative, ghetto, white privilege, gay lifestyle, illegal worker. Let’s begin to fill that dead zone with words like “from my perspective’” and “why do you believe that?” And then let’s meet those words with what the academics like to call active listening, but what is really no more than simply really listening to another person’s point of view. But as we will fill that cold place with our new words, we must stand there rooted in the promise that we will stay at it until we sort this through and have begun to understand what “others” are saying to us. By no means are we required, or even urged to push for some sort of new found agreement. Simply understanding, though there is nothing simple about understanding, will be victory enough. Besides, I may never be able to agree with you but I sure would like to understand you. Let’s also remember to take baby steps. This may not be the time for finding the right words to string together to form world peace. This may just be the time to get used to having conversations across the fault lines that divide us. And let’s be gentle with ourselves and each other. We’re new at this. We’re bound to make mistakes. There’s a good chance that not all our words will be properly polished. We may also find that the words we speak may not be the words that are heard. And, inevitably there will be times the words will hurt. That’s when we need to face the speaker and ask, is that what you meant? Why does my generation, gender, race, class, geography or different opinion make you want to use hurtful words? Or was it an accident? Did you misspeak? Did I mishear? It won’t be easy, but if we stick with it, perhaps we can create a movement where we replace the dueling monologues with conversations that fill the dead space with the warmth of human interaction.
I facilitate Faultlines. I am president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education working to help create a multi-cultural multimedia that accurately and fairly portrays all segments of U.S. society. I tweet @djmaynard. I am Dori J. Maynard.
2050: Café Con LEche
Majority minority. Minority majority. Either way, it happens around 2050. What? Whites will be a minority around 2050 in the US. People of color will be a majority. And it’s going to be a wild ride. It’s still called the White House but George Clinton was right—that was a temporary condition. In a country where it’s easier to elect a black Democrat as President than it is to get a majority of white voters to vote Democratic, we have to ask: when faced with the choice between maintaining power and maintaining democracy, what will White Americans do? Even the most recent history of American Whites facing race is filled with disappointing actions: Senator Mitch McConnell, when elected as what had previously been known as the ‘Minority Leader’ position in the US Senate, said he preferred to be called the ‘Republican leader’ because ‘minority’ was disempowering. One member of the Texas Board of Education commented on their recent effort to whitewash history textbooks “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.” And when Lyndon Johnson said, “we have lost the South for a generation" as he signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he underestimated: it’s been 46 years, at least 2 generations, and counting since a majority of white voters voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate. Where do we go from here? Many White Americans have decided to go the tea party route, seeing any loss of power as undemocratic and even apocalyptic. Others are moving to what Rich Benjamin calls Whiteopias. The rest of us, of every race, have to become more racially literate. We have to beat back wedge attacks that use implicit bias to prey on white racial anxiety. All Americans, especially Whites, have to act as if we indeed have linked fates. Even more than chocolate cities, we’ll be living in a café con leche US. Are you ready? Theme song rev. 4/3/2010
I am a Bronx-born Haitian-American father, drapetomaniac, Buddhist, scuba-diver, and Prince-lover. Been leading campaigns to change societies for more than 20 years. I'm excited about 2050. Tweet me @ludovicspeaks. I am Ludovic Blain III.
Most adults think there’s only one way to do everything, their way. That makes me and probably other kids sick because we’re always creating different ways to do things but our ideas are ignored. It’s like we’re still in my grandmother’s day when kids were supposed to be seen, not heard. I was in an exhibit at a famous art museum. The artist I was working for does non-material art. His exhibit used people from 8 to 80 to ask others a simple question. “What is progress?” When we asked the question many adults didn’t take the time to let the words out of our mouths. They would pass us by or smile to try to come across as delighted because we asked them to follow and talk to us. Or they’d ask “What school do you go to?” “How old are you?” They didn’t think people as small as us could be asking something so big. They didn’t get the full experience because they didn’t think we could take on their full thoughts. I think by limiting us they limited themselves. How is the world going to get better if we don’t listen to half the people who live here? I am a kid with thoughts and ideas and I am determined to be heard.
I am a third grader at Saint Ann’s School in Brooklyn. I am a budding actress. I am a splash of color and inspiration. I am determined to be heard. I am Corinne Bobb-Semple.
Photo credit: © Syreeta McFadden
You make your own world. You have all the tools you need. Often times, it’s right in front of you. Sometimes, it just takes a little movement. So I go on walks. I walk everywhere and over the course of my journey, meandering, wanderings, I often figure out a solution, imagine a possibility that I hadn’t seen in an existing situation. I didn’t make this up. This practice is as old as time. Aboriginal peoples called this the walkabout, a rite of passage where young men wandered in the bush for months at a time. The closest thing I’ve ever experienced to that in New York City is when I take my camera and get lost in the City. You can get lost here. We’re surrounded by amazing inventions and this too has worked to the great benefit of us all. However, the great paradox has been an imbalance in how we engage with our natural world and ourselves. We need balance, we need conversation, we need connection. When I feel I’m getting pulled in the undertow of cloudy images, distractions, technology, terrible writing ideas, I take a walk. Sometimes for fifteen minutes, sometimes longer, with no destination in mind. I discover new things about my neighborhood that I’d otherwise miss. I’ve even stumbled on a rather fortuitous strip from a fortune cookie. We’re such creatures of habits and find such comfort in old habits and patterns that we fear change, new direction. So I’m concerned about sustainability of our own natural resources. We are energy. We have to do some self care, we have to recharge. So I go on long walks. Because if I’m not clear or open, how can I possibly expect that my encounters with other men and women could ever lead to the new? Exercise your dreaming mind. Take a walk. No destination. For thirty minutes let your body guide you. Make turns if you feel a strong pull to go in that direction. There is no wrong answer; there are no wrong turns. Listen to your body, it’ll never lead you astray. The last time you almost crossed the street in front of a speeding car, you jerked away. Your body knows how to protect you. You should trust that.
I am a writer and photographer from the dairy state whose motto is ‘forward’, living and dreaming in the County of Kings. Seventh generation American, dreamer for the next movement. Tweet me @reetamac. I am Syreeta McFadden.
Courtney Young’s photo courtesy of Allen Breaux Studio & Gallery Inc. Hanifah Walidah’s photo courtesy of Olive Demetrius Kyra Gaunt’s image courtesy of Nokia for the TED Fellows Responsiveness campaign featured in Monocle magazine (09 Oct 2009, p. 097) Mamy Lucy Kamptoni’s photo courtesy of Tim Llewellyn Syreeta McFadden’s photo courtesy of Peter Dressel Tomie Hahn’s photo courtesy of Mark Morelli Image above by Nicolás García
Coming Soon - The Audacity of Humanity Inquiry Calls featuring various contributors. How do YOU be audacious? When and where? Follow our Facebook Fan page for more details Cover photo by Marcia Jones (http://marciajonesart.com) used by permission. All contributions generously given by their creators. Many images from Google. Download the Split-Splat-Splodge font by David Martin at http://www.dafont.com. Created with iPages/iWorks with assistance provided by Hanifah Walidah, Liz Marley, Matt Platts, and Lianne Raymond. Conceived by Seth Godin. Curated and edited by Kyra D. Gaunt, Ph.D. The power is in your hands to make something happen. Post this, email it, tweet it. Spread it freely. Add your own idea. But please don’t sell this content or change any of the entries.
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