Hey there everyone,
As we embark on another year I wanted to provide a quick update. Below is the content from my most recent newsletter. Here's wishing the very best to you and yours as we reflect on last year and move forward into this one.
I am currently living in upstate, NY working on a contract with a consulting firm who does culture change through diversity and inclusion. We’ve been working together to do some interesting things with both large and small organizations, as well as in the community. The contract goes through February 4 and we’ll see where the journey goes from there. I’m excited to see what 2015 will bring.
On of July 10, 2014 My sister Jessica and her husband Michael II made me a very proud uncle after they brought Michael III into the world. After four months I met the nibbling (gender-neutral term for nephew/niece) over Thanksgiving. Uncle Michael loves you M3.
The pilot for the “Peace by Piece” empathy journaling project has officially launched. Five people have committed to serve as the initial beta group and all have received their journals. The purpose of this project is to allow people to take their time to share and reflect their inner thoughts, experiences, and feelings with others with whom they may not normally share time and space. I mail a journal to each person and ask them to fill the pages in whatever way suits them.
After 30 days I’ll email each participant a prepaid shipping label for them to return the journals. Then each person will receive somebody else’s journal along with a blank one. At this point, they will be asked to reflect on the other person’s entries for thirty days. Only after both journals have been returned will each person learn who they’ve been sharing with.
The pieces will be viewable online and I'll be working with various places to display them physically as well. If you're interested in participating, let me know and I'll send you a journal as well. Also, if you know anybody who might be interested, please feel free to share with them. I'm hoping to get enough feedback to modify the process, increase its effectiveness, grow the scale, and build series around various themes.
What I'm Reading
Big thanks to Dyana Valentine for sending me I Wanna Take Me a Picture by Alexanra Lightfoot and Wendy Ewald. I’m currently doing my first read-through and am enjoying how it’s making me think more critically about how I approach photography, visual literacy, and sharing in learning. Plus it’s just a fun read.
Another book I’m reading is To Be A Slave by Julius Lester. It’s a relatively short collection of first-hand accounts of slavery—actual stories from the actual slaves—not recreations. I’ve found it is difficult to read and while also providing me with a great sense of pride and hope. I've been losing a lot of sleep over what’s been going on around Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The events and our responses have given me a lot to think about. This book is one that reminds me just how resilient we can be. Plus it has inspired a project I hope to do in partnership with the African American Museum in Seattle.
You may have seen the “100 Years of Beauty in 1 Minute” video around the Internet recently. It was a collaboration between some very talented women with a well-executed concept. What you may not have seen, though, is the person who takes center stage in the video, Nina Carduner, is not only a model, but holds her MBA from Bainbridge Graduate Institute, has been very involved in the startup and technology movement in the West Coast, and is currently working in sustainability efforts. Plus she’s a fun person to be around. Get it Nina! Congratulations!
This year I’ve had the honor of spending more time with Stacy Flynn, creator of The Future Resource Collective and Evrnu. I’ve truly found her tenacity and resilience inspiring. 2014 was both a challenging and rewarding year for her. After putting just about all of her time, energy, and soul into bringing her concept to reality, she received first place in the SVP (Social Venture Partners) Fast Pitch in Seattle, presented at the Cradle-To-Cradle Conference in NYC, and ran a successful $25,000 Indiegogo campaign. Watch out for this one. She’s on a mission to change the apparel and manufacturing industries specifically, but aims to create processes that can change the way we fundamentally do business. I’m proud of you Stacy!
I promised that with each newsletter I’d be giving away a free download of one of my photographs. Here’s one that many have expressed interest in. I hope you enjoy. Download link is below.