March 4, 2013 by Dina Wilcox
and I remembered how much I love talking with young people!
Windows of Opportunity (WOO)—a little not-for-profit with a huge heart and commitment to teens—sponsored its 9th annual DREAM OUT LOUD conference at St. John’s University on March 1st. I was honored to be the first speaker of the day. As always, the young people were amazing, so responsive, so kind, and so present.
As I have many times in the past 20 years, I told my story of falling in love and getting caught in the AIDS epidemic. Along the way, I injected some brain science to show how powerful we are, and what’s really going on with our feelings and emotions. As I always do, I told them how young people—the first groups I met when I started talking—saved my life with their great generosity of listening. They responded, as teens always do, with a tremendous outpouring of love—one young woman even invited me to come out with her and her friends!
Please check out WOO’s website—www.wooinc.org—and consider supporting their efforts in some way. Someone donated a church building in Queens, and they’re turning it into a safe space for fun and learning. Their peer educators teach leadership skills and offer groups on every challenge young people are confronting today: eating disorders, addictions, anger, violence, HIV prevention and more. They’ve even got an annual “SHORT STACK” fashion show fund-raiser, a glam night for teens whose beautiful bodies don’t fit the narrow definition for industry models. Hal Eisenberg is the creator of Windows of Opportunity, and his commitment and energy are boundless.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: addiction,anger,eating disorders,fashion shows,HIV prevention,keynote address,teens,violence,Windows of Opportunity | No Comments
April 13, 2012 by Dina Wilcox
I wanted to blame him and punish him and be done with it. It was too horrible, too painful, and I wanted it to end with him.
But George Zimmerman is the tip of the iceberg, and even if we break him off and throw him into the water, there’s still the iceberg to deal with. It’s the town, the lawmakers, the NRA–everyone who put that gun in Zimmerman’s hands, along with the message that he had the power to shoot to kill as long as he remembered to say he felt threatened. It is the rest of them who need to be brought to justice, if there is to be any justice.
I see a courtroom filled with victims–you and me, the parents who lost their child, Trayvon Martin, and everyone who might be walking into the wrong end of another gunslinger who got a pat on the back as (s)he was sent out to do something lawfully heinous. I see We, The People and I just have to ask, where are we in all of this? It’s not easy: we all want to feel safe in our communities, protected against people who would harm us. And we all want to be safe, to keep our children safe, protected against people who would harm us.
We don’t have much control over the individual acts of individual people, but We, The People have control over the laws that we agree to live by. Right now, we can and must say it’s enough–too much, really–and it has to stop. Every human is valuable, none can be spared for such cruel brutality, and government must not be used to rob us of one another. If the world is spinning out of control, we must be the brakes of last resort.
Category Uncategorized | Tags: George Zimmerman,guns,justice,self-defense,Stand Your Ground laws,Trayvon Martin,violence | No Comments