Inequality in America: Pictures From The CA Frontlines

The story is as old as America: the haves and the have nots.  Mention “homeless,” people’s eyes glaze over, “can’t we talk about anything else?” But here we are.  San Francisco.  Visiting for work.  We have been here numerous times over the past two decades for various work-related trips.  There has always been a homeless problem in San Francisco, LA, San Diego.  The temperate weather, decades-long failed government policy, are two of many reasons for the problem, but this last visit we felt things have gotten worse.

The city felt like a refugee camp of tens of thousands of mentally ill and addicted people roaming the streets. seeking shelter, while millions stepped over the bodies with their eight dollar artisanal lattes and $15 chia oatmeal on their way to work in the gleaming towers along Market Street and the Embarcadero.   Continue reading “Inequality in America: Pictures From The CA Frontlines”

Leadership In Africa: Are You Leading A Purpose-Driven Life?

People can spend their entire lives in search for purpose.  We understandably seek it in family, education, work that engages us.  But sometimes that is not enough and some of us fall into a rut of the continuous grasping for power and prestige items like fast cars and McMansions that we think will satiate us and give our life purpose. 

But the externals often fail to offer the balm we seek.  Continue reading “Leadership In Africa: Are You Leading A Purpose-Driven Life?”

Leadership In Practice: Rebuilding A Nation After Trauma

Being a leader takes courage, patience, resilience and vision. Deogratias (Deo) Niyizonkiza, Founder and CEO, Village Health Works, has those leadership attributes and many more.

Deo was born into a loving yet poor family in Burundi. At the outbreak of the 1994 Hutu/Tutsi genocide in Rwanda/Burundi, Deo was attending medical school in Bujumbura, Burundi. One day a group of Hutus came to his dorm looking to kill any and all Tutsis. Deo hid under his bed.  After the perpetrators left, he fled to the woods of Burundi and Rwanda where he hid, while witnessing senseless slaughter, for six months. Continue reading “Leadership In Practice: Rebuilding A Nation After Trauma”

What Do Kids Learn By Making Videos?

Our students at Brownsville Collaborative Middle School address their peers on what they learned about making videos at The Campus, an after-school program that teaches tech and media skills to kids in the Howard Houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn.  It is the first computer lab developed in public housing in the US.

Founded by Senator Jesse Hamilton (D),

Emoni Talks To Her Peers at P.S. 156

to address this systemic problem of inequality, Senator Hamilton assembled teachers and community leaders to bring tech resources to Brownsville.

We spent an academic year teaching kids about storytelling through photography and video.  Their stories and observations can be seen on their blog: Brownsville Visible

In addition to the blog,  check out the video below to learn what Emoni, Tyrese, Isiah and Kymani learned in making their stories.

To see the student videos, click on the links for the Brownsville Barber Guru and the interview with Local Hero, Brownsville Collaborative Middle School  Principal, Gregory Jackson.

Wounded Warriors Soar at STRIDE Adaptive Sports Snow Fest

They came from all over the east coast to meet their friends and cheer each other on as they overcame physical and mental hurdles, not to mention braving the sub-zero temperatures and ski the slopes of Jiminy Peak.  We don’t know who was more inspiring, the Wounded Warriors or the STRIDE Adaptive Sports team, but watch the video and be awed.

Continue reading “Wounded Warriors Soar at STRIDE Adaptive Sports Snow Fest”

Despite Death Threats A Gay Leader Emerges In Afghanistan

After the shootings at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, by Omar Mateen, a U.S. resident of Afghan descent, we can’t help but revisit a past interview with Afghani gay activist, Nemat Sadat.  His intelligence and honesty on what it means to be gay in Afghanistan is extremely insightful.

All eyes are on the upcoming run off of the Afghanistan presidential election between Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani in mid June. But millions of Afghans are talking about a new emerging leader not on the ballot, Nemat Sadat, who happens to be gay.   Continue reading “Despite Death Threats A Gay Leader Emerges In Afghanistan”