Words from Martin Luther King, Jr. as we enter 2016:
Letter from Birmingham Jail
We are capable of transforming this place, but we must confront its ills and push ourselves beyond diversity and inclusion. We must enter into a space of shared power and mutual liberation, transforming White supremacy, within us and without.
Last image of slideshow: A Community Gathering facilitated by Speaking Down Barriers, including poet and activist, Crystal Irby, and innovator, Shemuel Namaste. Topic: Martin Luther King, Jr.: Untold
So what do I do on most mornings in my daily decision of embracing risk? I scream at the top of my lungs, “Marlanda, go and change the world!” No, actually…I just listen to podcasts and talks that include various motivational beings. Most often, the soul I choose to connect with is Seth Godin.
A birthday present given to me by my love, was a Skype interview with Seth Godin on the eve of my birthday. Without the intent of it happening, this conversation found itself answering the question “What matters”? This was true for social and soul work that I find myself doing.
As an artist and social transformation worker, I find myself constantly trying to create connection between people, across difference, and amidst pain. One of the ways that I do this is through Speaking Down Barriers. Speaking Down Barriers is a facilitated gathering of people from all backgrounds to have a conversation on race and racism coupled with spoken word poetry. It can be difficult to turn off the part of your brain that says “Where are all the people?”, “Should I be doing this?”, “Is this helping?” when faced with the tension that comes in talking about something as divisive as institutional racism, the history of our country, and the importance of justice. I often have to stop myself and consider how we as individuals are fed information constantly via television, social media, news media, etc. These messages compound the fears that we have developed over time and if we let it, can destroy what we are meant to create. The quantity of people is definitely something that does not matter. The quality of connection truly does.
Another important aspect of this conversation is the discussion of fundraising for nonprofits. Speaking Down Barriers will be training facilitators, artists, and activists across South Carolina in the Speaking Down Barriers model. Seth provides great insight on fundraising and connecting with people who have philanthropy goals.
Listen and/or watch as I converse with Seth Godin on various things, including dancing with fear, “people”, and doing YOU anyway!
Purchase Seth Godin’s book, What to Do When It’s Your Turn here.
Purchase Elle Luna’s book, The Crossroads of Should and Must here.
Contact Marlanda Dekine here.
During a cultural exchange regarding his art, Antonio Milian shared pieces of the journey that he has taken to reach his current destination as a street photographer and the creator of a growing piece of artwork, Faces of the Upstate. Utilizing a camera as the medium and Facebook as the exhibition hall, Antonio has created an awe-inspiring view of what it is to be human.
On the average day, many of us walk past nearly a hundred people and never say one word. Often we barely look at them. We exist together and yet we don’t. Antonio has given us a look inside of people. Through his work, we gain a glimpse of everything we have forgotten to care about. More than just images, we hear them. Through photograph and comment, we connect with someone new in a way that does not seem forced. We remember that we are human.
Listen as Antonio Milian breaks down how his street photography has led him on a path of unearthing the human condition. He talks about art, pornography, and Bob Jones University…
Believe me, this is truly worth a listen.