Tags: Africa, Arnold Shwarzenegger, Arnold Sxwa, children, MamaHope
It kind of hits you over the head at the end with the message, but I love watching Alex recount the story of Arnold Schwarzenegger in Commando. And its amazing to see Arnolds abs again! It was produced for MamaHope‘s ‘Stop the Pity, Unlock the Potential’ campaign. I like the sound of that message.
As someone who now recruits aid workers with Mission Talent, I have learned the hard way that no one is very interested in a degree. If you want to be an aid worker you need field experience and language skills– the ability to manager millions of USAID money helps too. It is not easy to find these people, and the pay is not great, but I am inspired every day when I do interview aid workers by their dedication.
Tags: art, faith, Kenya, peace, youth
I posted in the blog before about the youth peace summit I organized in Kenya last year in response to the post election violence in 2008, and what a powerful experience it was. Well artist Mary Button (and theology student) was an important part of that summit, and she created art about the experience. An interview was published about it today in Religion Dispatches. I am posting a big chunk of the interview cause I love it. You can see the entire series from Kenya here and read about the peace summit in a previous post I wrote here.
JS: How did your faith or the faith of other people play a role in this series?
MB: During The Peace Summit, interfaith dialog was a real priority and so the youth participants were not only from a number of different countries—Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Kenya—they also came from a wide variety of faith backgrounds.
One of the things that I became very quickly aware of was how unsure and self-conscious I was about talking about my own faith. I was totally blown away by the openness and ease with which so many of these young people talked about what their faith meant to them. Bear in mind, now, that I am a thoroughly churched woman. Daughter of a Lutheran minister. Sunday School teacher. And about to enter my first year of seminary. And suddenly I felt like I had never really considered what my faith meant to me.
The Hymnbook Project focused on cultures [in the Southern US] with which you are intimately familiar. What challenges did working in Kenya bring?
It was a real challenge. My friend Maria Murewa, who’s an artist from Rwanda, and I volunteered to lead the workshop where we made banners and signs with the youth for the peace march planned for the last day of the summit. We ended up camping out with a revolving group of youth, and we all made really beautiful signs. We cut out doves and painted them really bright colors. We had some neon green cardboard and made signs in the shape of Africa. And we ran through hundreds of pieces of pastel poster board. There was such a feeling of urgency, and it was so tied up in their faith.
Earlier in the summit, the youth drew these really amazing life maps where they drew out these circuitous paths dotted with people and churches and told these amazing stories about how they came to be at the peace summit. And when we sat down to write out messages for our peace march, the messages they wrote overwhelming were about God’s love. Continue Reading Peace, Art, Faith and the inspiring Mary Button…
I originally wrote this blog post for my new favorite wesbsite, Dowser.org
Boston area neighborhoods Brookline and Roxbury are two miles apart, but they might as well exist in different countries. Brookline is a majority white and Jewish suburb, while Roxbury is a low-income neighborhood in Boston proper known as “the heart of Black culture.” A city bus links the districts, but racial, cultural and class boundaries prevent all but a few from making the trip. In June 2010, however, a new initiative, Virtual Street Corners, will begin working to overcome this divide via video conferencing. They’ll be placing large video screens with built-in cameras above shop windows to create a forum where people in the two locales can interact publicly in real time.
Project founder, John Ewing, drew his inspiration for Virtual Street Corners while conversing with locals as he painted murals around Boston. He found that most people knew little about the city beyond their own neighborhoods. “I wanted to bridge that gap and recreate that street corner conversation,” he said. “We need citywide dialogue on many issues.” As example, he cites the issue of the CORI laws, which require mandatory criminal background checks for employees, adding that “the people in Roxbury would see that differently than the people in Brookline.”
When he tested the project in 2008, Ewing found that most people were excited to try out the screen, but quickly ran out of things to say. But when a political or religious leader started talking, a crowd would gather and soon take over the conversation. Preparing for the June launch, Ewing is soliciting participation from civic leaders. He’s also asking residents in both neighborhoods to submit one-minute videos that will identify key issues to kick off the discourse.
The project is part of the Idea Lab, a Knight Foundation-backed initiative dedicated to using digital technology to reshape community news. The process will be documented and archived online so that anyone can use it as a model. If it succeeds, Ewing hopes to recreate it elsewhere in Boston and in other cities.
If you are a Boston resident, keep a watch and let us know how interactive street conversations affect the feel of your city.