Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today over 1 million people braved the frigid weather in my hometown - Washington, D.C. - to see the historic inauguration of our 44th President of the United States. Never have I been prouder to have been born in our Nation's Capitol and to be an American. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever even thought about being proud to be an American. Not because I'm not, but it was just not something I ever thought about before this election. But today, as I watched with tears streaming down my face once again, as Barack Obama took the oath of office with his hand on Lincoln's bible on the steps of the capitol that were built by slaves, I am truly proud. As a child of the South with all of my family from NYC, I think it somehow resonates in a different way for me. I've shared on this blog in the past, my memories of seeing water fountains marked "colored" and "white" and balconies in movie theatres marked "colored only". I remember hearing Martin Luther King, Jr. giving his "I have a Dream" speech and for the first time realizing that change could actually happen. And now change has come to our country.
President Obama has challenged each of us, change must start with me....and you. I will take his challenge to heart. To begin with, I choose to be a participant of my world, my country, my community, not just an observer. And to do it as a kinder more inclusive person. I will share my creative talents with others...not keep them to myself. And I pledge to be of service to others whatever that looks like, whether formally designed or as things are presented to me on a daily basis. I am ecstatic beyond words today and feel lighter, hopeful and in awe. My heart is full and I feel joy! I have always believed that if I am not part of the solution then I am part of the problem. Today I choose to be part of the solution, even if I don't know what that looks like yet.
I challenge all of you in our community to stop and think what you pledge to do starting today. I look forward to hearing your commitments. What will you do? How will you do your part? How will you step up to the plate as we begin this new era in our country's extraordinary history? And I encourage each of you to pay it forward - challenge your friends and family, co-workers and students. It is up to us to make the change and turn things around. As creative people, we can literally change the world with our images. So what are you waiting for? This is our time, this is our chance, this is our world. This is our day!
(all photos from Yahoo.com)