What is the Creative Activist?

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What is the creative activist?

The creative activist opens doors, raises public awareness as  a call to action for social change. They use creativity as a tool to teach, bridge gaps, to foster understanding and social justice.They think like a global citizen. They appreciate different cultures and stories.They are curious and delight in  being a life long learner. They believe it is our problem not your problem.They look for the common humanity rather than what separates us.   They support the development of capacities, skills and talents  that activate both individuals and groups. They encourage inventiveness, originality and creativity to raise self esteem and solve community problems.

Lisa Albrecht, an activist educator and writer, is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work of the University of Minnesota, where she founded an undergraduate program in Social Justice. Previously, she taught writing in the General College of the University of Minnesota for 19 years. She is the recipient of the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Community Service Award and Josie Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award.  Lisa sees the need to pursue peace and justice with “beloved community,” a term used by Martin Luther King, Jr. that encompasses not only one’s blood family, but also a circle of loved ones who care for one another and hold one another accountable. She believes that change builds from the bottom up, and she is encouraged by the way today’s social activists are engaging the community through social media and other tools that were not available to us a generation ago.

When we talked she told me about creative activist, John Noltner, a freelance photographer based in Minnesota who uses his art to explore the basic goodness that reside in each of us. He helps communities understand the ways we judge, categorize and separate through religion, political differences and cultures.Founded in 2009, A Peace of Mind, a multi- media project includes 50 compelling stories of what peace means, how  people work toward it in their lives, and some of the obstacles they have encountered along the way. We have an opportunity to share our common humanity through these engaging stories from  the homeless man, the holocaust survivor, the Somalia refugee, artists, volunteers , business leaders and Lisa herself.http://vimeo.com/66858595 . AlbrechtL-2010

A Peace of My Mind expanded into the public forum with the production of a traveling exhibit,.peace of mind exhibit Since its 2010 premier, more than 80,000 people have viewed the exhibit at private galleries, community centers, places of worship, libraries, and universities. In 2011, A Peace of My Mind won support from 92 backers to produce a book from the series with a foreword written by Mahatma Gandhi’s granddaughter, Ela Gandhi. The book, now in its second printing, earned first place in the Midwest Independent Publishers Association Book Awards and a silver IPPY from the Independent Publishers Association  A Peace of My Mind was presented at the 2011 Peace and Justice Studies Association National Conference and the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Forum. www.noltner.com

I would love for you to share creative activists you  think we should know about.

 

 

 

 

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