Today’s show introduces two heroes in the war to end gang violence: DeVone Boggan and Sam Vaughn with the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) in Richmond, CA. Along with a team of dedicated men, the ONS creates opportunities for young people to lay down their guns and live their lives away from guns and hatred. The affect the ONS has had on the Richmond community will surprise and inspire you.Listen here» http://bit.ly/1ao5rej
She’s taken twitter by storm in Canada and now Mandy Stobo, the mastermind and visual artist behind Bad Portraits has partnered with United for Change USA to create Bad Portraits for Good.
Introduced to Mandy by a mutual friend and former NBC News colleague, UFC USA’s Maria Roach jumped at the chance to connect.
"I was struck by Mandy’s bold interpretations! Her portraits excited and inspired me. She saw in people’s faces whimsy, complexity, but always beauty!" exclaims Maria, recalling the day the two first spoke. A quick email exchange led to a phone call and the calls led to a partnership and the stunning portrait featured below: Mandy’s tribute to Trayvon Martin and to the battle for equal protection under the law for men and women of color.
“Bad Portraits was born out of many different needs and frustrations within my life, the art world, and our society,” explains Mandy, who has done over 12,000 portraits. “But one of the main key desires with this project was to eliminate the idea of flaws within humans, I wanted to highlight our faces, our humanity, with joy, color, abstract lines and love. As soon as Maria reached out to me about being involved in creating change and expanding this idea to an even larger scale, a scale of equality, I had to jump up and dance and say yes. For, as Maria said on our first phone call, we can all do better. I am blown away with the idea that I am able to be a part of something that can potentially change our world and inspire us all to do better.”
"We’re both mothers to young sons. So finding a way to create positive change — highlighting the work of the community groups who do amazing work, but often don’t get much attention — this just made sense to us," Maria added. "Working with Mandy makes me hopeful. It doesn’t matter where you live, what you do, or how you look. There’s beauty in the work."
What’s on deck for these women? A gallery exhibit featuring Mandy’s Bad Portraits is being planned. The exhibit will coincide with production of a series of documentary films profiling grassroots efforts to reduce gang violence, job training programs for former inmates, and educators with an eye on bridging the digital divide.
"We need more joy. We need to perceive real beauty. We need to demand greatness. I am so inspired to be able to work with United for Change USA and Maria," says Mandy. "Together, we are hoping that change rolls out in waves." And so do we!
— United for Change USA Team
To learn more about Mandy Stobo and the Bad Portraits Project, visit:
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United for Change USA’s Maria Roach will be among the presenters at tomorrow’s conference in Baltimore, MD.
Screening the film “A Confused War” at the New Organizing Institute’s Washington, DC offices. Featured in this photo — the heroes of the Office of Neighborhood Safety in Richmond, CA. These men have started to turn the tide from violence to peace in Richmond’s war torn neighborhoods. In a city still reeling from yet another mass shooting, their story is much needed good news.