I am reposting this portrait of gavin grimm taken by geoff livingston for the aclu. it appeared on @aclu_nationwide. this 17-year-old young man, gavin grimm, is at the heart of the struggle to retain the dignity and rights of transgender students in schools across our nation.
in yet another example of his cruel disregard for the humanity of others, on wednesday night trump instructed the department of justice and the education department to rescind president obama's protection of the rights of transgender students to use the school bathroom that aligns with their gender identification.
on march 28, the american civil liberties union (aclu) will have a hearing before the u.s. supreme court in which they will argue that the gloucester, virginia school that gavin grimm attends broke the federal law banning discrimination on the basis of s*x by refusing to allow him to use the boy's bathroom. the aclu charges that this law includes discrimination against transgender people.
gavin grimm is being unexpectedly t****t into national prominence because of trump's most recent singling out of the most vulnerable among us to be persecuted and denied their rights. in the midst of all the attention, this young man is handling himself with maturity, modesty and restraint. gavin joins a long list of individuals like rosa parks who found themselves becoming the face of a particular civil rights struggle. may he feel our support and encouragement during these challenging times.
Every country is made richer when immigrants are allowed to bring their gifts and share them with a sense of freedom and safety. countries that close their doors are depriving not only the immigrants but their own citizens of a cultural exchange that benefits the whole. every time i visit belle nail spa in st. clair shores, michigan, i am welcomed and treated with such respect by every member of this extended family from vietnam. they offer me so much more than snazzy toenails sparkling with silver glitter on purple and aqua polish. they give me a bit of themselves and the graciousness of their country. such a priceless gift! today i took this portrait of salina and her mother-in-law, nam. although nam moved to this country only three months ago and speaks no english as yet, her smile says it all.
Tonight my dear friend caren @exphotographer texted me a very significant quote from a book she is reading, a well-tempered heart by jan-philipp sendker..."what are people with guns most afraid of? other people with guns? no! what do violent individuals fear most? violence? i should say not! by what do the cruel and selfish feel most threatened? all of them fear nothing as much as they fear love."
"sanctuary for all!" we must do everything we can to protect our undocumented sisters and brothers who are in grave danger under trump's latest cruel plans. according to the ny times, "the new homeland security rules authorize the expulsion of undocumented immigrants who commit even minor offenses, and make it easier to deport people immediately." can you imagine how terrifying that must be to families and individuals all over our country? this is going to take more than protest marches; we must do what we can to increase the number of cities, churches and other groups that are committed to providing sanctuary for everyone who is under threat of deportation. we must also hold our senators and representatives accountable for representing our wishes regarding humane immigration enforcement. my u.s. representative, brenda lawrence, is hosting an immigration town hall in detroit this thursday called "know your rights." i plan to attend. by the way, trump has added a particularly nasty twist to his plan, and that is building more detention centers in which to hold undocumented persons before they are deported. these places are hellholes where legal rights are stripped away. it is hard to think of donald trump without judging him harshly. does the man have no sense of humanity at all? it appears not.
#repost@scottmbennett with @repostapp
100cameras snapshot project:
rio de janeiro, brazil
i have the amazing opportunity to teach photography and storytelling to youth in rio de janeiro, brazil. this collaboration between the non-profit 100cameras and cofondation (french artist jr's non-profit) will directly benefit the youth at casa amarela (a community youth center) in rio. using the 100cameras curriculum, i will teach over a month at morro da providência, and act as a facilitator to foster creativity and learning.
would you consider helping with this great cause and sharing the project with your friends? thanks for any support that you can give! even $10 or $25 would make a huge difference for the kids!
please, follow along during this journey (on instagram) and also go directly to the indiegogo page to donate funds toward the project and read more about the details. (link in instagram bio)...from patricia - "i know scott personally and he is a worthy man who is choosing to use his creative gifts in the service of others. one of the best ways to resist the xenaphobia and bigotry of so-called leaders like trump is to encourage and empower our sisters and brothers at home and around the world." thanks!
Do you ever feel as though you are lost in a darkened world when bit-by-bit a path appears that seems illuminated from the inside? if you have been following my instagram account for the past months, you know whereof i speak. there are still darkened grasses surrounding the path, but now i see there is a way through to the other side. and that "other side" is a place where hope and joy and creativity are undiminished by whatever surrounds them.
that is how i feel about my upcoming six weeks as a participating artist at the rauschenberg residency. it's not going to be the answer but it will be the path.
There are times, people and places that are touched with magic. this afternoon at my community park with shante and sonja is a perfect example. i think you can tell by looking at these two women why they manifest such wonders. good through and through, loving, creative and authentic. those are just a few of the qualities i experienced in their presence. such gifts in our world!
Do you remember the first day you rode your two wheeler without the training wheels? i do, and that was 68 years ago! well, today was morley's day and she could not stop grinning. neither could her mom, her dad and even her older brother lucas. it didn't hurt that this was an absolutely gorgeous spring day in the middle of february: 64°f/17°c and sunny. to be honest, everyone i saw today was smiling. spring in february is definitely not the norm for metro detroit!
After last night's powerful readings by three detroit authors [see previous post], i woke up very early thinking about how to add my creative voice to the resistance movement. i lay awake from 3:30 to 5:30 am before getting up and going to my computer. this ink drawing/photo composie is what emerged. i call it "no muslim ban" and already see it as the start of a new project called snapshots of resistance 2017. and now i am going back to bed to catch up on my sleep!
Last night the grosse pointe public library in metro detroit hosted "a night in the stacks: detroit writers." featured were readings by wayne state press authors desiree cooper (pictured here), terry blackhawk and kelly fordon. we heard poems by terry blackhawk, an excerpt from kelly fordon's untitled novel-in-progress, and two short stories by desiree cooper @descooper, one of which was from her acclaimed book "know the mother." i came away from this event feeling grateful to live in a place that nourishes such talented writers who use their gifts to inspire truth and justice. by daring to share their lived experiences creatively, each of these writers voice resistance to the lies and bigoted attitudes that are currently espoused by our so-called leaders. in my opinion, these women illustrate the power of creative activism.
Do you find you are becoming more and more like your parents the older you get? my father was the most detail-oriented person i have ever known. it worked wonderfully well in his position as executive secretary of the national security council where his daily briefings to president truman offered all the details the president needed to make decisions that would impact the world. but at home? we soon learned not to ask my father for anything that involved details, especially directions. after dad had brought out all the maps and gone through every aspect of the trip in infinite detail, we would be bored beyond belief.
so here i am at age 74 being one of the most detail-oriented persons i know! just ask jessica, ann and matt who have been working with me for months to make the facilities at the rauschenberg residency satisfy my long, long list of "special needs." talk about details! and yet, they have been so patient and accommodating to my every wish that i am feeling totally confident my six-week artist residency is going to be everything i hope for and more. they have created one of the most wheelchair accessible environments imaginable, and i guess it was all in the details. thank you, dad, for giving me your "detail" genes, and special thanks to jessica, ann and matt for not being turned off by it.
After having lunch and getting a carry out for my friend at @sushicalifornia_windsor in windsor, ontario, i drove over to see one of my favorite people in the world, pat noonan. pat is a young 86 and has recently moved to a wonderful retirement home where she is very happy.
pat and i have been close friends since we first met in 1993. not only do we share a love for our women's singing community, the gaia women of the great lakes basin, but we are sisters in the struggle as longtime activists. we always tease that when we get together we had better try to think of something to say ahead of time because otherwise we might sit in silence. after 2 1/2 hours of nonstop talking, pat finally admitted that she had a sore throat and couldn't talk anymore! you can imagine the subjects that took up a lot of our time and energy.
it is so wonderful to be with someone who sees things exactly the same as you! pat and i may be from different countries, but it's like we came out of the same seed. kindred spirits in every possible way.
if you go to vimeo and search for "this is what a feminist sounds like," you can watch the 1 hour and 26 minute documentary film on this remarkable woman, pat noonan.
Do you ever feel as though the united states, and i'm afraid the entire world, is trying to pick its way through a prickly patch of cacti and other unseen threats to our peace and security? the tumultuous white house reality show makes trust in our government seem like a long-forgotten dream. i don't know about you but i'm finding myself and many of those around me prickly as well. the tone set by the tweeter-in-chief seems to be catching. the ratings of his reality show may be high, but audience anxiety is higher still. remember how they called our former president "no drama obama?" we never know what we have until we lose it.
I took this selfie yesterday on my scoot home from the dentist's office. what an unusual valentine's day we had here in metro detroit. no snow on the ground and warm enough to scoot for miles with no hat or gloves. very different from new york, toronto and the east coast!