“To begin a new novel, I look for the biggest problem in my life that I can’t solve or tolerate. Something that drives me nuts, but I can’t fix. Then I find a metaphor that allows me to explore the problem, exaggerating and expanding it beyond reason. I build it up to the worst scenario possible and then find a way to solve it. By the time the book is done, I’ve exhausted all of my emotions around the original problem. Whatever it was, it no longer bothers me. And typically, during the time of writing, the problem has resolved itself. It’s like magic. Try it. It will keep you alive in this world of bullshit.”—
I met Wilbur at True Light Family Resource Center. He was in need of social services such as a bus pass, clothing, counseling, and food. I continued to follow him over nearly two years. This is his story…
If you happen to be in NYC during August or September, please check out this group exhibition from Photophilanthropy. PhotoPhilanthropy addresses critical social and environmental issues around the world by providing nonprofits and photographers with the resources to work together to create images that drive social change. I’m happy that they have selected one of my photos to be part of the exhibition.
Right Before Your Eyes: Photography Driven By Social Change
An Exhibition Presented by PhotoPhilanthropy at the United Nations
What? An exhibition including thirty stunning photographs by photographers from around the world.
When? Aug. 16 – Sept. 10, 2012
Where? Visitor’s Lobby, United Nations, New York City
Description: A single photograph can change the world. One moment, captured by a photographer’s lens, has the power to shift public policy, spark human rights campaigns, and alter the course of wars. “Right Before Your Eyes” showcases images that capture a range of social issues including global health, youth education, poverty and displaced people. With this exhibition, PhotoPhilanthropy pays tribute to the commitment of photographers to raising awareness for the most pressing social issues around the world today. On any given day, across the globe photojournalists are serving as witnesses, observers, and agents of change.
Missouri still leads the nation on black homicide rates...
According to the Violence Policy Center “Washington, DC—Missouri leads the nation in the rate of black homicide victimization for the second year in a row according to a new analysis of unpublished Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) data released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).”
I just added my photo essay to PhotoPhilanthropy’s website. I’m honored to have my work and the work of True Light Family Resource Center be shown there. Please take time to browse and view also their impressive collection of works by photographers working with all types of non-profits.
What's Next? A States Spring? #OccupyKC #OccupyWallstreet
In light of the current economy many have taken notice of the Wall Street greed and have learned from the organizational tactics involved in Arab Spring. A “how to” blueprint seems to be circulating. It seems democratic tactics may also work in the US. Or not.
A handful of protesters were seen Sept. 30th in the area surrounding the Kansas City Federal Reserve building. They claim to be a part of a movement called Occupy KC named and organized modelling Occupy Wall Street.
Writer Tom Ryan and I attended the opening of the Freedom House on 31st and Charlotte. His experience can be found below at The Kansas City Star. See more work by Tom Ryan here http://crossroadscurrents.blogspot.com/.
True Light, Emancipation, and now Freedom at 31st and Charlotte | Midwest VoicesNo comments have been posted. Perhaps you’d like to be the first? You’ll need to log in or register to comment. Alice Pigge-Wallack makes words come alive. She speaks and listens with a kindness that exudes, light, emancipation, and freedom. She creates community every day in and around her community at 31st and Charlotte Street in Kansas City, Missouri.
The Freedom House was opened Thursday Sept. 29th. Pastor Alice Piggee-Wallack added it to her many contributions to people in need of Kansas City. “Pastor Alice” as she is better known is the founder of True Light Family Resource Center, True Light Church of the Nazarene and Emancipation Station, a day shelter for women. The new Freedom House is a place where homeless and jobless women can live and stay overnight until they find sustainable employment and a new start.
RachaelJane-2156Megan packed informational packets for the visitors in Pastor Alice’s office. Megan is a regular volunteer and neighbor who helps Pastor Alice with various different tasks.
RachaelJane-9170Visitors to the Freedom House opening toured the rest of the facilities Pastor Alice operates. Donna spoke to the visitors about the shelter. Donna spends her retirement time donating countless hours helping women learn new direction and filing paperwork.
RachaelJane-9159More information about True Light Family Resource Center and it’s affiliates:
Two people with dark pasts and disappointing previous marriages found new life together. LaVell was once married to an HIV positive, now convicted rapist and child molester. She then became homeless after her divorce. ElVester’s previous marriage fell apart because his ex-wife had become addicted to methamphetamine. The two met at a local church, were friends then fell in love.
As part of planning their wedding, ElVester and Lavell had spent several sessions in Pastor Alice Piggee-Wallack’s office for pre-marital counselling. ”Pastor Alice” as she is known, founded True Light Family Resource Center, Emancipation Station, a day shelter for women and True Light Church of the Nazarene in East Kansas City, Missouri.
As man and wife, LaVell and ElVester walked down the isle at True Light Church of the Nazarene. They chose this church because of the help and guidance Pastor Alice gave to LaVell which helped her transition from being homeless to having a home.
ElVester, LaVell, Josh (ElVester’s cousin), Irvin (ElVester’s friend) and ElVester’s sons posed for a group photo after the wedding. Irvin and Josh became impromtu best man and groomsman during the wedding when ElVester learned that his step-son and step-son-in-law could not make it to the wedding because they were not able to take time off from work. El-Vester’s son-in-law had just gotten a job at Arby’s.
LaVell and ElVester will not go on a honeymoon immediately afterward. She said they are working to find the right family members with whom to stay, the right amount of money saved and leave time. She said optimistically, “…sometime at the end of the year or next.”