At the Heart of an Occupation
When Occupy Wall Street began in September 2011, I was paying close attention from day one. On October 15th, 2011, I first stepped into the park and began my journey of observing this beautiful uprising through my lense and sharing it with the world. Sometime around December of 2011, through meditation, I got the idea to start interviewing occupiers for what would become At the Heart of an Occupation. The blog closed out in January 2015 with 316 voices. There was a real misrepresentation of the Occupy Movement in the media. My hope for the project is that through seeing the passionate faces and hearing the beautiful voices that people will come to see what we're really resisting and come to understand the world that we are fighting for, which is a world that I believe we all want to see.
In January 2014, I created Building Compassion through Action. In At the Heart of an Occupation, I focused a lot on what was wrong with the world and what kind of world we were all hoping to build. I wanted to take it further with my next project and focus on the actions that people were taking to help create that world.
After the Black Lives Matter movement began in late 2014, I got the idea to start a new blog with a focus on different forms of oppression. It began with a focus on Black Lives Matter, and it now includes interviews around the Syrian revolution, war and refugee crisis, the Palestinian liberation movement, the Indigenous movement and other forms of oppression.
Through Occupy Wall Street, I have finally found what I have been consciously longing for for over a decade and subconsciously longing for all of my life—a network of amazing people who are fighting so hard to bring about a better world. Through this network, I have found a place where I can support in the struggle against injustice anywhere I find it. The struggles I am involved with include animal rights, enviromentalism, racial, social and gender equality, quality education, health care, housing and food for all, an end to debt slavery, police brutality, Stop and Frisk, the prison-industrial complex and the death penalty, restorative rather than punitive justice, global unity and peace, worker's rights and the right to love your work, and women's rights—including the right to live in a world where education isn't denied and survival isn't such a struggle that we abandon one of our most natural, basic and beautiful instincts, which is to protect our offspring.
I’m starting to focus more of my attention on my own writing and getting it out into the world. I am a poet, and my more recent writings are around my activism and creating a better world. I’m currently working on the book for my first blog, At the Heart of an Occupation.
I took my first yoga class in 2002. Shortly after that, I began a regular home practice to address problems I was having with my back, and I was able to find more healing for my condition with yoga than I had been able to find with any doctor or physical therapist I had seen. I have been able to manage the condition with little pain and no medication for a decade now with my yoga practice and acupuncture. Around 2009, I started taking studio yoga classes and quickly fell in love with the Jivamukti Yoga method. Once in the studio environment, I found the spiritual benefits of yoga. The practice has helped me to look deeper into myself and has helped me to go beyond some of the limitations that I have set for myself that keep me separate for others. I believe in order to heal the world, we need to also heal ourselves, which is a personal journey, and I've found a lot of success on that journey through yoga. In June 2013, I received my 300-hour certification at the Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training in Costa Rica. In Fall 2013, I went on to get a certificate to teach yoga in public schools through Bent on Learning.