PhotoPhilanthropy 2010 Activist Award
In November 2010 I was kindly recognized for my work with teacher Julie Kasper in creating the Finding Voice Project with refugee and immigrant youth in Tucson. We received PhotoPhilanthropy’s 2010 Grand Prize Activist Award for Community-Based Organizations. PhotoPhilanthropy’s mission is “to promote and connect photographers with nonprofit organizations around the world to tell the stories that drive action for social change.” As a result of this award, Finding Voice was featured in a PhotoPhilanthropy book and in an exhibit at the World Affairs Council in San Francisco in March 2011.
CommunityMatters Conference Presentation
In October 2010 I attended the Orton Family Foundation’s annual CommunityMatters conference and presented on a panel about building community through storytelling. It was an inspiring gathering, as I had the opportunity to meet entrepreneurial folks working on projects ranging from hiring youth to convert restaurant grease to biodiesel to creating new ways to strengthen intergenerational connections in communities.
Sabores Sin Fronteras
I have been exploring food traditions and food systems in the the US/Mexico border region in collaboration with writer Kimi Eisele, author Gary Nabhan and ethnographer Maribel Alvarez at the University of Arizona’s Southwest Center. We decided to focus our efforts on ranching along the border and the relationship between beef production and climate change. Kimi and I began this process by photographing and interviewing Duncan Blair, a rancher trying to reduce his operation’s carbon footprint, while navigating the socio-political realities of border life. The photographs and interviews were exhibited at Tucson Meet Yourself, an annual fall event attended by nearly 100,000 people. You can learn more about Sabores Sin Fronteras at www.saboresfronteras.com.
Place & Context: University of Arizona Course
Throughout the spring and summer of 2010, Kimi Eisele and I were hired by the University of Arizona’s Honors College to design a course about “place.” We were asked to explore a new model for the Honor’s College, by having a series of professors and community members provide the primary content for the class through lectures, readings, field assignments, and fieldtrips. Over 35 professors and community members agreed to present on topics about place ranging from water harvesting to immigration to oral history to city planning. During the fall 2010 semester nearly 70 honors’ students signed up for the course. It has been exciting to see how the expertise in a community and academic environment can come together to enrich the educational experiences of college students.
“The Way We See It” Youth Photography Exhibition, Washington, D.C.
During the spring and summer of 2010, I collaborated with the Academy for Educational Development to create a group youth photography exhibition at AED’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. In addition to exhibiting youth work from India and the Finding Voice Project, AED exhibited images from two other inspiring programs, Critical Exposure and Visual Griots.
Arts Education Partnership Conference Presentation
In April 2010 I was invited by the Arizona Commission on the Arts to join a panel of artists and art administrators to discuss the topic of “Leveraging Technology for Advancing the Arts” at the Arts Education Partnership conference. I discussed the benefits and challenges of incorporating technology into community-based media and literacy projects.
Adaptations: Stories of Change
From January-March 2010 I collaborated with the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum on a project with refugee and immigrant youth about stories of change and adaptation. Youth from Tucson’s Owl & Panther Project, Amphitheater High School and Catalina Magnet High School participated in a series of photography and writing workshops that encouraged them to explore their own personal stories of change while simultaneously exploring how change and adaptation transpires in their new home – the Sonoran Desert.