Elliot Washor's TGIF 10.28.2022
“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder I am because WE are - Ubuntu!
Years ago Chiara introduced me to internationally acclaimed artist Michaelangelo Pistoletto from her hometown Biella where our BPL school is and where Pistoletto lives and works. A year or so ago, Chiara announced to our international community that Pistoletto has started a college around the exploration of social innovation, inclusion and sustainability through collaboration and creativity. He was offering 12 BPL students from anywhere in the world scholarships to attend. This was quite an opportunity that Chiara cultivated for the entire network. Turns out that Starlite, one of our students from Barbados applied and is now there. Above them is one of many renderings of Pistoletto’s Third Paradise Manifesto that are now all over the world. The basic idea of the Third Paradise is the overcoming of the current worldwide existing conflict between the two polarities of nature and artifice. The Third Paradise is symbolically represented by a reconfiguration of the mathematical infinity sign. In the “New Infinity Sign” three circles are drawn: the two opposite circles signify nature and artifice; the middle one is the conjunction of the two and represents the generative womb of the Third Paradise.
For some reason, the events I’ve been attending lately have been well, getting better and better. These include The 311 in Newark and College Inbounds in Philadelphia. On Sunday I attended the Namahana School Community Event. There were around 200 people in attendance. Kapua did a wonderful job bringing everyone up to speed. When Kapua and Devin, a kumu and Kapua’s cousin spoke about the design in Hawaiian terms, it took on new meaning for me. The design and the building reflects both Hawaiian and BPL in a way that enhances what we do. This story was told through aina loosely translated as land but so much more. It is at these times that I’m reminded who says what because they live it, makes what they say meaningful. You can tell right away if someone is just on a story or if it is their story. BTW, what does this teach children and adults about living and chronicling a life? Is this a bigger problem that starts with resume writing and college essays? Two discussions stood out this week. One came off the BPL staff meeting about a learning organization that Eunice, Jen and Anna facilitated. By the time the meeting was over, we were on community and not organization. Now, we have to figure out what‘s the difference? Do communities have job descriptions? How are communities self-generating? Our new forms and new measures cannot just live solely in the realm of who we work with but how we work within our community as well. More to come. The other talk was about the work in Los Angeles of LA Leaves to Learn and ImBlaze/BU platforms. I know this ImBlaze team is never satisfied with what ImBlaze presently is and is always playing with what oughta be so, this was a grounded conversation where we have an opportunity to influence the second largest school district in the US around real-world learning. If we can hold this collective group of groups together in LA, it will really be something. It is Andrea who is doing great at keeping them all in and making great strides here. This initiative touches on another meeting I had this week with Randy Barth, Executive Director of ThinkTogether and Dale Marsden of Tomorrow’s Talent. ThinkTogether is one of the biggest afterschool providers in California and not much is done about getting youth out beyond the afterschool space they are in. It was a good beginning. We’ll see where it goes. WE GETS THE LAST WORD ON STEVE JOBS? HE MIGHT I love the following line. “We don’t censor,” said Becky Cline, director of the Walt Disney archives. “We just vet. Becky was giving a tip to the archivists of Steve Jobs. It came from an article about how the life of Steve Jobs is being curated in a way that leaves out the messiness of his life. As the article points out, the scary part is that other wealthy people will follow suit and write their own histories that glorify and perhaps worse deify them. Those that had power use it even after they die. Haven’t they figured out that it is not what people are paid to say about you. “You will be judged by what you do, not by what you say is in your heart” Seymour Sarason - Caring and Compassion in Clinical Practice – It is what people say about you who really knew what you did. And the band plays on….
Two great workshops, one East Coast and one West Coast were put on by the BPLiving group on meaningful relationships.
In San Diego, I caught up with Dr. Marsha-Gail Davis over lunch where I heard about her next songs and how we will be connecting.
Last thing, Carol and her team in Nairobi were on a call with Anthonette, Scott and I explaining their work that predates B-Unbound and is B-Unbound. Fascinating rhythms. We are going to keep pushing on this one and see if they can’t inform the work of B-U. What they continue to do is just amazing. Next week, I’ll be corresponding with 20-30 people who are coming to the Liberatory Leadership conference in San Diego, December 3rd – 5th. Be Well!