A Safe Place for Trauma Survivors

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 11.15.27 AM copyThere is a powerful reading by Nikki Patin 15 minutes into The MusicVox broadcast.

Surviving The Mic is a collaborative organization of survivors who are dedicated to creating a safe and affirming creative spaces for survivors of trauma (sexual trauma, racial trauma, violent trauma). Through their series of spoken word and performance-based events they seek to create a space for testimonies about sexual violence and to build skills to elevate those testimonials.

The goals of Surviving the Mic are:

  • to help survivor artists hone their creative voices in order to tell their stories in powerful, impactful and artistic ways
  • to create curricula and toolkits that can be used a model for other communities who’d like to make safe space
  • to support cultural, emotional, physical, mental and economic well-being for survivor artists through safe and affirming performances, workshops, publications and professional practice training and support
  • to provide opportunities for those who are not survivors to listen and learn from survivors

Click the link below to hear their conversation.

Surviving The Mic: Empowering Survivors of Trauma Through Performance-Based Events and Workshops

For more information on Surviving The Mic, visit them at survivingthemic.org/


The Magic Lantern Showing Leonid Bergoltsev Film

Directed by Ira Gardner

Sitting Between Two Chairs tells the story of world renowned Russian photojournalist Leonid Bergoltsev, who documented the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War and is now living in America without possibility of returning to his homeland.  His work is often compared to Henri Cartier-Bresson, with whom he was acquainted, and he was published in Life Magazine in 1972 Mr. Bergoltsev offers testimony to the possibility that the photography of the Soviet Era  just might be more truthful than the imagery seen in contemporary American media.

He is a man stuck between two cultures who makes interesting comparisons between film and digital photography and Communism and Capitalism with wit, passion, and conviction.

Ira Gardner20111105_4458 as Smart Object-1

Ira Gardner

Dear Friends:

I have the honor of one of my video projects being shown at this year’s film festival at the Magic Lantern Theater on Sunday February 10th at 4:15pm. It is a short video about Leonid Bergoltsev who is a phenomenal photojournalist from Moscow who happens to live here in Spokane. I would love to have you all attend. The theater only holds 100 seats and there is only one showing planned so if you are interested in attending I highly recommend you go to this website and purchase a ticket asap.


Hope to see you there!


Thought you would enjoy this email from 2008

Good Morning My People –

After watching the final debate the other night, it dawned on me that Obama could actually win this thing.  If that happens, there will be a lot of people (some of our co-workers included) who will be afraid that an Obama presidency will usher in the end of days.  They’ll be watching us on November 5th (the day after the election) for signs of the end times.

To keep the peace and keep a lot of folks from getting nervous, I think we should develop a list of acceptable celebrations and behaviors we should probably avoid – at least for the first few days:

1.       No crying, hugging or shouting “Thank you Lord” – at least not in public

2         No high-fives – at least not unless the area is clear and there are no witnesses

3         No laughing at the McCain/Palin supporters

4         No calling in sick on November 5th. They’ll get nervous if too many of us don’t show up.

5         We’re allowed to give each other knowing winks or nods in passing.  Just try to keep from grinning too hard.

6.        No singing loudly, We’ve come this Far By Faith  (it will be acceptable to hum softly)

7.        No bringing of  barbeque ribs or fried chicken for lunch in the company lunchroom for at least a week (no chittlings at all) (this may make us seem too ethnic)

8.        No leaving kool-aid packages at the water fountain (this might be a sign that poor folks might be getting a break through)

9.        No Cupid Shuffle during breaks (this could indicate a little too much excitement)

10.      Please no Moving on Up music  (we are going to try to remain humble)

11.      No doing the George Jefferson dance (unless you’re in your office with the door closed)

12.      Please try not to yell—-BOOOO YAH!

13.      Just in case you’re wondering, Doing the Running Man, cabbage patch, or a backhand spring on the highway is 100% okay.

If I’ve missed anything feel free to add to the list. I just want to make sure we’re all on the same page when Obama brings this thing home on November 5th.

Now go get your early vote on and let’s make this thing happen=


Thought you could appreciate and enjoy

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags, which we reused for numerous things. Most memorable besides household garbage bags was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books. But, too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.

We walked up stairs because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person…

We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off

Thank you Irish, we often need the reminders!

Emerge: The Play Was Talking About Yo Mama

Yo Mother Yo Sister Yo Daughter Yo Aunt Yo Cuzin . . . .

The ladies were talking about you, brothers, to our women . . . .

The message is right on! The production top notch! The delivery hit the high notes in message and tone! The band got a groove on that kept a beat that had us bouncin’ and clappin’ all evening long!  The big hips were swingin! The Christians’ hands and arms were wavin! And all in a palatial setting!

Let’s  help keep this show on the road – it needs recognition, sponsors and supporters.

 Read more about the cast . . . .


Greetings From Pacific Lutheran University

We are excited to offer this Chamber Music Theatre Work free to the public in celebration of African American Women in Women’s History Month.  Please, will you spread the word through your network!
Thank you!
Melannie Denise Cunningham
Director of  Multicultural Recruitment
Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA  98447
253-535-8716 or 1-800-274-6758
Go on our Virtual Tour:


Campus Champions of Change

University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Initiative is a unique and cutting edge sustainability program that transforms grass lawns on the campus into diverse, edible, low-maintenance, and easily replicable gardens.


Brown University

Provides weekly shares of local, sustainable, delicious produce, bread, and dairy to Brown University staff, faculty, and students. This program originated as a means of addressing the problem that students and staff at Brown have limited access to local food from the bountiful agricultural region of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.


Volunteer Action Center University of Arkansas

Launched a student food pantry in February 2010 to serve the needs of students on and off campus who are in personal crisis and do not have the financial resources to meet all of their nutritional needs.


University of Missouri

To expose the youth of the Columbia area to new and exciting career and extracurricular activities. Since that time Dream Outside the Box has provided innumerable areas of interaction for the children to engage in.


Grinnell College

Campus community could sustainably contribute to world development through micro financing small entrepreneurial loans.


Princeton University

Realizing that young people had never been seriously and systematically involved with education reform, Bellinger and Morin founded Students for Education Reform, a nonprofit organization that supports student groups on 60 college campuses across the country and provides students a voice in the policy making process.


Top 6 of 15 college campuses that are making a change.  See what the White House is doing . . . . . .

Return of the King : The Boondocks

The Boondocks : Return of the King

Is this Entertainment, Education or Empowerment?

In “Return of the King,” McGruder offers a “what if?” episode which theorizes that Martin Luther King, Jr. didn’t die but, rather, has been in a coma all this time; when he awakens, he ends up going from being a hero to all those seeking equality of the races to being accused of a terrorist sympathizer. When he attempts to hold a rally to inspire his brethren, it’s so overtaken by attempts to make it into a party . . . . . . . .             Will Harris wharris@bullz-eye.com   http://www.bullz-eye.com/television_reviews/2005/the_boondocks_1.htm