Joining the Bifröst– Into the Aurora Project Team
I’m thrilled to be joining the team of the Bifröst– Into the Aurora Project for the next stages of their endeavor to study, understand, and document the cultural and scientific aspects of the Aurora Borealis. The multi-disciplinary international team behind this project is attempting to send cutting edge imaging equipment into heart of the Aurora at an altitude of approximately 300 kilometers. As both a science lover and a long time student of culture and mythology, this is an especially exciting opportunity for me! Learn more about the project HERE.
Acting to Provide Support for Trafficking Victims
Working with the National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles, I recently co-led an educational salon about human trafficking and met with Assemblymember Gatto to discuss this issue. This month, two bills that will help trafficking victims have the opportunity to come before the California State Senate for a vote. It is important that Californians call their representatives and ask them to support these bills. The bills are AB 1761 and AB 1762. AB 1761, which creates a defense for human trafficking victims when arrested for non-violent offenses directly related to their trafficking, is currently in the California State Senate Appropriations Committee. AB 1762, which ensures that trafficking survivors do not face long-term barriers to employment and housing by vacating convictions for crimes they were forced to commit when trafficked, is in the Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File.
Learn more about these bills and NCJW/LA’s efforts to help trafficking victims HERE.
Literature for Life Next Phase — Curriculum and School Programs Development
The literary journal and educators’ resource that I manage, Literature for Life, is a program of the arts nonprofit, Light Bringer Project. We’ve secured a grant for the next phases of this project — completing curriculum for the stories in our issues, publishing our next round of work, and actively engaging with teachers and students and putting Literature for Life to work in Los Angeles’s high school classrooms this school year! Read some of the amazing stories we’ve collected from primarily L.A. authors, and check out the beautiful artwork for the stories HERE.
Making it a Service Summer!
Teaching is one of my favorite ways to give back to my community, and I teach several classes each year. This past year, I taught Research and Academic Writing and Creative Writing for high school students. Several of my students are continuing to work with me over the summer by engaging in facilitated service learning projects. I recently accompanied several of my students to a Citizen Science program at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook organized by the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and supported by the Los Angeles Audubon Society, as well. My students used the iNaturalist app on their phones to collect and upload data on species they observed. This data will benefit conservation efforts in Los Angeles.
I challenge you to do the same — don’t just think about the change you want to see, but help make it happen and teach others how to take action, too!
Joining the Reading Cast of the Kaidan Project from Rogue Artists Ensemble & East West Players
I’m thrilled to be joining the cast of the Kaidan Project from the Rogue Artists Ensemble in Collaboration with East West Players. We are presenting a staged reading of this work in progress on Saturday, August 6, 2016. This reading is free to attend. The full play will be presented in Little Tokyo this winter. According to Rogue Artists: Kaidan Project will be a multi-sensory experience (sight, sound, smell) and will involve the Hyakumonagatari Kaidankai (the telling of 100 supernatural tales) a tradition dating back to 1660. The experience will involve taking small groups of participants on a ‘ghost tour’ of Little Tokyo, while the 100 tales unexpectedly unfold around them, revealing a higher level of paranormal activity, resulting in a thrilling finale. This piece will not be for the faint of heart and will involve moments of sudden darkness, loud noises and frightening imagery.
Learn more about this project and how to attend the reading HERE.