Every place provides special opportunities unique to it’s culture. My time in New York CIty has been one sprinkled with fairly fabulous, if not totally random, experiences that present themselves on my rambling walks in-between things. I have been interviewed, photographed, asked for directions a million times, given free movie tickets, yelled at. Yesterday however, with an extra 20 minutes to kill, I walked into the Characters Unite photo booth. A project of the USA network highlighting both celebrities and every day folks who take a stand against injustice, discrimination, the -isms, and more. My skeptical self thought this might be a PR stunt empty of any real action. Thankfully, I was wrong.
This project is running workshops, creating educational channels and outlets and facilitating spaces for folks to come together and talk about issues of difference. While I cringe a bit at their overuse of “celebrate diversity” I think this is a positive use of corporate money – raising awareness and supporting non-profit’s doing social justice on the ground.
Waiting in line was maybe the best part of the experience. I got to ease-drop (one of my favorite pastimes) and get a glimpse into what each person was standing against and why. I deliberated over my word choice for a while. Ultimately, I chose injustice because it incapsulates it all for me. My work and my world view has longed been organized around and wrestling with justice. What it means. Who gets it, and who doesn’t.
So, I got my shirt. I WON’T STAND FOR injustice. And, I got my pictures taken. Thankfully, they had pre-set camera options blowing out the color so I look… a little fresher than I felt.