Jarell Wilson describes himself as black, gay, and Christian. He lives in the South and, at times, he struggles to balance these three identities in a society that he says doesn’t embrace two thirds of them. He believes that people often try to put identities into boxes, and that results in stereotypes that lead to stress and conflict. Yet, at the end of the day, Jarell finds beauty and peace all around him. He finds joy in each of these identities. “Peace comes from […]
Joanne Bland was 11 years old when she marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Heading from Selma toward Montgomery, the activists were committed to securing voting rights for all Americans, but on March 7, 1965, they were violently attacked by law enforcement officers. It became known as Bloody Sunday. I interviewed Joanne at her home in Selma in August 2015, just 12 days after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri, and the city was gripped […]
Elaine Baker grew up in Mound Bayou, Mississippi. Founded in 1887 by former slaves, Mound Bayou is the oldest self-governing all-black municipality in the United States. Elaine grew up in an era of segregation, with “white only” and “black only” signs in neighboring communities, though she didn’t experience day-to-day racism in Mound Bayou. She learned that her value and worth were not determined by others. As a young girl, she picked cotton for 2.5 cents a pound and went on […]
RaShad Arnold is a social worker for a nonprofit agency in Portland, Oregon. In his free time, he writes and records rap music he describes it as “music you can play in front of the entire family.” RaShad remembers having “the talk” with his parents about what to do if he were ever pulled over by a police officer. Although he has never been cited for more than a parking ticket, Rashad has been pulled over multiple times for what he calls “driving while black.”
Pardon the broad, sweeping generalizations…but here’s the thing… If all the non-white people are saying, “um…there are some issues we need to discuss regarding race.” And all the white people are saying, “Everything is fine…just get over it and let’s move on.” Then…we might have some work to do regarding race. If you don’t see it, consider who you are talking to about the issue. Last week I was artist-in-residence at the Everyday Democracy convening in Baltimore. I set up […]
We have one week left in our Indiegogo campaign to fund our book, A Peace of My Mind: American Stories. There’s work to do. We’d welcome your help to stand with us and do all we can to move toward peace and reconciliation in a difficult time. Help if you can. Share this message far and wide. Together we can turn ripples of hope into waves of compassion. Visit this link to help: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-peace-of-my-mind-american-stories/x/2664576#/
Categories: Blog, Video • Tags: a peace of my mind, American Stories, APoMM, art, book, crowdfund, dialog, healing, hope, Indiegogo, listening, peace, photography, race, restorative justice, social justice, stories, travel
We’re all in this together Black or white. Gay or straight. Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, or Atheist. Man, woman, or child. Republican or Democrat. Cop, soldier, artist, teacher, banker, farmer, or unemployed… We’re all in this together. When I started A Peace of My Mind, I set out to hear from people of all backgrounds. Especially the ones I didn’t know well. Especially the ones whose voices seemed to be lost in the public debate. It was my own path […]
**Note** I remember on 9/11 I had a job photographing corporate headshots for a construction company. It was a full schedule, and the most surreal day I can recall as little snippets of the news filtered in. There was a weight in the air at the loss of life, yet they wanted to continue with the project, so I spent my day asking people to smile, when all I wanted to do was cry. Yesterday I had a deadline project […]
A continuing series from the Sojourners Summit for Change last week. To learn more about this series, click here.
You can learn more about this series by reading the previous two posts. You can learn more about life by reading these six short stories. Thanks again to all who shared.
Categories: Blog • Tags: a peace of my mind, American Stories, APoMM, black and white, dialog, diversity, healing, hope, justice, listening, mypeace, peace, photography, portrait, race, reconcilliation, sojourners, stories, truth