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activism

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A Year of Yes: Scene from New York City’s March for Our Lives

28828610_10104256776831916_4621455774924061512_oThis young woman, mixed with a very small group of counter-protesters in the shadow of some of the greatest museums in New York City, was just asking to be free to express herself through art rather than being worried about guns. A simple ask that we must answer with an emphatic “Yes”. Take a look at the future. It’s so bright and I couldn’t be more hopeful. More photos below.

A Year of Yes: March for Our Lives

220px-March_for_Our_Lives_logoBecause my travel plans were derailed this week, I’m in New York City instead of D.C. today. I’ll be joining March for Our Lives in my hometown, standing up for an end to gun violence and safer world for all of us, especially our young people. They are our future and I want them to have every opportunity to build a life they’re happy to live. This video by Veterans for Gun Reform articulates exactly the message we need to send to all of our policy makers.

 

 

 

 

In the pause: Lift the weight of caring by doing

“Lift the weight of caring by doing.” ~State Farm Insurance

State Farm Insurance is running an initiative called NeighborhoodOfGood.com. It depicts a man who is watching his neighbors deal with homelessness, hunger, and disease. He feels burdened by these insights and then stumbles across a neighborhood center that offers mentoring to young people where he can volunteer.

I know many of you are struggling with the massive needs in the world right now. There is no shortage of them—hunger, health, homelessness, inequity, racism, poverty, and the list goes on and on. Don’t feel paralyzed by the enormity of the task. Get out there and do something for a cause you care about. State Farm’s site NeighborhoodOfGood.com can help you find a great opportunity to put your caring to work!

In the pause: The doors of this country stay open

To my friends who are immigrants and to my friends who are Muslim, please know that there are many people (myself included) who stand and will continue to stand in solidarity with you and your families. I will march with you, fight for you, donate money to the ACLU Nationwide for you, and volunteer my time, talents, and efforts to make this country safe for you. The doors of this country stay open, as they were to my grandparents and to the ancestors of everyone else I know who calls America home. On my walk around my D.C. neighborhood with Phineas today, I saw signs of welcoming, acceptance, love, and resistance everywhere. I wanted to share these with you so that you know you are not alone, not now, not ever. We are here, and we’re not going anywhere.

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Wonder: The We Love You Project

13680939_1715062572089654_4204151035333704265_nWe can all do extraordinary things, especially during times of adversity and difficulty. To put it bluntly, the black community in America is under siege, and they have been for far too long. As a white person, I cannot even begin to comprehend the challenges that the black community faces on a daily basis. What I can do is extend my hand, my help, my support, and my voice.

I learned about the We Love You Project from Vanessa Ford, who will be one of the first two guests, along with her husband JR, on the Breaking Bread Podcast. I have about a million and one questions to ask them and one of the topics I can’t wait to dive into is their activism on so many fronts including race, supporting the local communities where we work and live, LGBTQ, and the challenges and triumphs in education, health, and food equity. We may need to do a multi-part series just to hear all of the interesting conversation.

One project that they recently participated in is the We Love You Project. Started by Bryon Summers, its message is powerful and elegant:

“A simple but powerful reassurance to our black boys and men that even though it feels like they are being murdered and destroyed constantly, we’re still a part of a larger community that loves and supports them.

The images we see in main stream media depict us as less than human – thugs, suspects, and even more, dead and discarded. These are the images that brainwash us into believing there is truth behind them. We’re not worthless. We’re not trash. We’re someone’s son, brother, cousin, uncle, or father. We’re HUMAN!

Through the art of photography we can see just how human and how special we really are. Images can be powerful reinforcements. They can be examples of who we are and aspire to be. WE LOVE YOU, will share portraits of the Black boys and men in our communities showing each other as well as the world that we’re not only human and should be treated as such but we’re LOVED.”

It sent a shiver down my spine to read this mission. It is so needed, especially right now. So far, the project has taken place in New York and D.C. I hope to have Bryon on a future episode of the Breaking Bread Podcast. For now, I’m thrilled to use my blog and other social media channels to support and praise his work!

Check out the We Love You Project at http://www.theweloveyouproject.com/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theweloveyouproject.

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