The People

Climate Warriors

01climate-change-portraits“For us it’s not the issue of regulation. It’s the issue of survival.” — Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim –

07climate-change-portraits“If I were a young person, I would start to ask my government very seriously,‘Why didn’t you listen?’ I would start to look at companies and corporations and ask, ‘What did you do when you knew?’”  Farhana Yamin–

Feminism is having a moment — and, increasingly, a multicultural one.

These things are seasonal, with seasons being marked by generations rather than in quarter years. Feminism and civil rights and all manner of movement towards an eventuality where we will be able to take for granted our common humanity, consigning no one to the margins, waxes and wanes, falling fallow in the winter of our collective lives only to surge forth again at the start of spring. It’s a perpetual cycling in which we continue to spiral upward, in fits and starts, to higher levels of human consciousness, and higher levels of manifest human possibility.

Young and very visible women,  like Jennifer Lawrence, Lena Dunham and Amy Schumer are using their considerable platforms to break silence with the many invisible ways in which sexism permeates the culture. They are working at the level of culture creation, which after every legal battle has been fault, is where the battle will ultimately be won. We can make the world different only when we change our hearts and minds.

Of course, hearts and minds follow experience, which is why it is essential that we see the faces, and hear the voices of women — and women of color in particular, without whose voices we cannot claim to be engaged in a serious conversation about making change in any corner of our world.

When I opened my computer on November 30, 2015, intent on doing a little procrastinating (ahem, I mean, warm-up for my writing day), I felt vindicated by’s piece,  Climate Warriors,  which centered women of all races, nationalities and economic circumstances in the essential conversation about climate change which, let’s face it, is really a conversation about humanity’s continued survival on Earth, a conversation whose public face is too often male, and  privileged and white — a kind of myopia we can no longer afford. The next leg of the human journey requires that we engage with the all-of-us, wherever it is that we come from, whatever the color of our skin, whatever our sex, whatever level of economic opportunity we enjoy. 


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Solange Knowles:
A True Original
On Her Wedding Day


Image by Rog Walker

By now you’ve almost certainly seen the pictures of Solange Knowles and her long-time boyfriend, now husband Alan Ferguson on their wedding day. Their wedding was the shot heard around the world. So stunningly authentic and original were these nuptials, from the everyday glorious juxtaposition of Solange’s fierce natural and Alan’s equally fierce beard, to Solange’s regal cape dress, to the eco boho swag of arriving to wherever they were going (reception perhaps?) on wedding white bikes, to the cavorting through the heady streets of New Orleans, where the living may not be easy, but it sure is good.


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Oh Captain, My Captain!

Robin Williams

It’s been a week since Robin Williams died, and I thought I’d mark the occasion by sharing the comments I posted to Facebook last Tuesday morning, with a few minor modifications. I end this post as I begin it (“Oh Captain, My Captain!”) because of all the ways that Robin touched my life (The Fisher King, Good Will Hunting), it is The Fisher King that most shaped my young mind, inspiring me to go for the life that was authentic, the life that is mine alone. Thank you, Robin, for shining so bright, and for inspiring all of us to let our own lights shine. And now my thoughts of last Tuesday, which are as true today as they were then.

“I was at a play last night by the Pulitzer nominated playwright Rajiv Joseph. Joseph and the male lead both worked with Robin Williams on Rajiv’s pulitzer nominated play, “Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo,” with Robin in the titular role. It was an intimate performance in a very small theatre, but afterwords, the lead actor spoke on behalf of himself and Joseph about their great loss and the world’s great loss. People sprung into tears all around me. A reminder of how deeply we sometimes touch the lives of those we do not know.

In this in this year of great loss in the Hollywood community (Philip Seymour Hoffman and now Robin Williams), I just want to say that we owe a great great debt to those who open themselves fully, who feel so very very deeply for the rest of us (who, like the scapegoats of yore, agree to carry the wounds of the tribe).


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The Great, The Grand,
The Beautiful Maya Angelou
Is Gone

Maya Angelou Quote

Maya Angelou for Cole Haan

The grand, the great, the beautiful Maya Angelou is gone. We are richer that she walked this way as this obituary makes so very, very clear.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mama Maya — for living every chapter of your life with dignity and for teaching the rest of us that our stories matter, no matter how dark, no matter how tinged with tragedy, and that we too can weave the experiences of our lives into a beautiful tapestry.


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On The Good Foot With
Anastasia King Jaress & JC Jaress



Broke Down Red Barn Kentucky

How often do we put our money where our mouth is, especially when it requires us to make major changes in our lives? Well Anastasia King Jaress and JC Jaress did just that in April, when they left their careers, Anastasia’s in film, and JC’s as an artist and business owner, and their home, a modern ranch in Altadena, California with an organic garden and a voluminous backyard, to hit the open road in a second-hand RV to make tangible their commitment to living a sustainable life.

Their plan? To spend a year on the road traveling the United States and working on organic farms, where they would learn about permaculture and other sustainable practices and find the hidden portal into a different kind of world than the one they’d known. At their journey’s end, the imagined themselves opening a sustainable retreat center in Panama, or wherever the road might lead. We sat down with The Jaresses on the eve of their departure to gab about the adventure that awaited them as they left their old life behind, and embraced the road as home.

RII: What is Good Foot Project?