What message do you want to share with the world?
I started out as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa and that work has defined my mission at RYOT. The Peace Corps is built on the principles of not only volunteerism, but also on storytelling and cultural exchange. The Peace Corps, as President Kennedy envisioned it, was to help Americans have a deeper understanding of the world around them—not as a scary place, but rather one of beauty, hope, resilience, challenges, solutions, art, culture, and diversity. It is that beautiful nuanced worldview that we hope to bring to light. Media has long been cynical, but this generation doesn’t respond to that old worldview. These are the days when we don’t want to tell people they can’t sit with us, but rather that they CAN.
How do you LOOK GOOD, FOR GOOD?
Doing humanitarian work and being in the field is tough. There are sleepless nights and long days. I always have a bandana for my head and some great boots. Boots really are key, as are a good pair of jeans. No matter how hot it is, you will always find me in jeans.
What people and/or events inspired you to do the work that you do today?
I’m inspired by everyday activists—the people who stand up for what they believe in and go against the grain. Most of the time, these acts of courage are never known by others, but they can have the butterfly effect to change the whole world.
What is some advice you have for people trying courageously to change the world?
Stay strong and get a thick skin. It’s hard work to change the narrative, but patience and passion and good friends for support make it a much clearer path for change.
What are ways that others can get involved with your community?
At RYOT.org we link every story to an action. We believe that everyone can make an impact in the world, and we hope when people connect with RYOT, they can find the path to making a difference, whether globally or locally.
RYOT FILM REEL:
AT THE 2016 OSCARS.
Learn more at: http://www.ryot.org/