Some of you may know that in my previous career I was an environmental health community organizer at the Center for Health, Environment and Justice. Until 2008, I worked with individuals living in contaminated communities, to empower them with the tools and confidence they needed to take on City Hall. Those working in the streets, fighting for healthy and just communities, dedicate of their lives so that we all benefit. I am truly honored when some of these good people ask me to shoot for them.
Yesterday morning I was working with the great organization, the Children’s Environmental Health Network in the capacity of photographer, as opposed to coalition member, which was how i first met their amazing Executive Director. Here is a shot of Laura, their newest staff member. She’s from Chicago, so I call this her “hey mom! I’m here in D.C.!” headshot.
And a few weeks ago, I was so excited to work with the Greenlining Coalition, the nation’s oldest and most influential multi-ethnic coalition of African American, Asian American, Latino, and low-income organizations. They came from all over California to meet with Federal Chairman Ben Bernnake at the Federal Reserve. The influence and access that this coalition has built is so empowering. They are not a coalition built on money or ties to huge corporations, they represent the interests of some of the poorest communities in the state. And I’ve got to tell you. I have been in their shoes, meeting with people in positions of power. It’s scary. These folks, not scared. Totally empowered. Because they know that what they are saying is right and just, and they seem to embody their one operating principle: “Our communities are mutually dependent – if we stand together, learn together, and educate each other, we will prosper together.”
In this time of economic crisis they were meeting with Bernanke to discuss how the government can protect the poorest communities. I won’t say anything else here, because I’ll probably mis-quote Fed. Chairman Bernanke and the Dow will tank.