I Could Be… a documentary addressing inequity

I Could Be

I could be a congresswoman
Or a garbage woman or
Police officer, or a carpenter
I could be a doctor and a lawyer and a mother
And a good God woman what you’ve done to me
Kind of lover I could be
I could be a computer analyst, the Queen with the nappy hair raising her fist
Or I could be much more and a myriad of this
Hot as the summer, sweet as the first kiss
And even though I can do all these things…

~ Jill Scott
The Fact Is (I Need You)

While Americans tend to be religiously devout, we paradoxically tend to know very little about religion, our own or others’. Religion scholar Stephen Prothero has shown that America is composed of “Protestants who can’t name the four Gospels, Catholics who can’t name the seven sacraments, and Jews who can’t name the five books of Moses.” Religious illiteracy increases the odds of misunderstanding and conflict….
The extent to which we believe God interacts with us and offers us blessings has a profound effect on what we think is right and wrong and what we feel we should do doing with our lives….
Knowing a person’s image of God, therefore, provides us with an opportunity to understand the most intimate moral and introspective conversations they have. Simply put, our picture of God is worth a thousand queries into the substance of our moral and philosophical beliefs…
Our image of God is never simply a reflection of the beliefs of our religious community. The traditional method of classifying people as Catholics or Baptists or Jews tells us little of consequence about what they believe.
~ American’s Four Gods
By Paul Froese
& Christopher Bader
In Jesus’s time there was the practice of sacred sounds and sacred words, which means the actual words that Jesus spoke are a very important part of his teachings.
The prayer that Jesus (Yeshua) gave when a disciple asked “Lord teach us to pray…”

Matthew 21:22

One reason that Hip Hop is so powerful is that Urban Youth have unconsciously tapped into the power of sound.
Hope Community Services

HOPE Community Services is the largest food pantry/soup kitchen in Westchester County. HOPE Volunteer Coordinator Sue Gedney, New York State High Chess Champion Joshua Cola, 94 years old volunteer Iris Freed, and Terrance Jackson.  Photo: http://www.geneshaw.com/

Following in the footsteps of people such as Jack London and George Orwell, Terrance Jackson spent over three years homeless in New Rochelle, NY and discovered the power of empathy to fuel innovation and creativity:
I believe that empathy – the imaginative act of stepping into another person’s shoes and viewing the world from their perspective – is a radical tool for social change and should be a guiding light for the art of living. Over the past decade, I have become convinced that it has the power not only to transform individual lives, but to help tackle some of the great problems of our age, from wealth inequality to violent conflicts and climate change.
It is important to understand what empathy is and is not. If you see a homeless person living under a bridge you may feel sorry for him and give him some money as you pass by. That is pity or sympathy, not empathy. If, on the other hand, you make an effort to look at the world through his eyes, to consider what life is really like for him, and perhaps have a conversation that transforms him from a faceless stranger into a unique individual, then you are empathising. ~ Roman Krznaric
Roman Krznaric - Empathy

RSA Animate – The Power of Outrospection – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG46IwVfSu8

The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’
~ Matthew 22:39

In January 2009, Terrance’s mother, Lezlie Linder, was diagnosis with lung cancer. On his bookshelf, he had a copy of Ralph Moss’s The Cancer Industry which argues that chemotherapy and radiation are largely ineffective and so toxic people often die from their treatment rather than their disease. She really wasn’t interested.

Lezlie Linder

In May 2009, in order to help encourage his mother to eat healthier, Terrance attended a screening of the documentary Fresh which included a reception that featured Joel Salatin and Will Allen. Living in Williamsburg, Virginia he was motivated to host a screening and panel at the local library.
Will Allen, Joel Salatin, and Fresh

Will Allen and Joel Salatin

Over ten years ago, before Facebook Terrance had the idea of developing a social media platform that integrated music and broadcast television. This idea led to the development of a television show called Live From VA that interviewed such guests as: Academy Award winner Mo’NiqueRussell Simmons & Rev RunKanye WestPharell Willams & Chad Hugo (the Neptunes), and Katt Williams.
One of the frequent guests of Live From VA [LFV] was Kanye West. LFV first interviewed Kanye at a Norfolk hotel here he was performing. The venue capacity was less than 200. The next LFV interview was in Hampton where he perform at the Mercury Entertainment Center, a venue with a much bigger capacity but the crowd was no larger than 300 people.

The next interview was at his sold out performance at the Norva. After the Norva, Kanye West performed at the Hampton Coliseum opening for Usher.

These experiences planted the seeds for Gigabit Farm Aid.

Gigabit Farm Aid - Madison Square Garden

Gigabit Farm Aid Concert
Spring 2016
African Americans are twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to die from diabetes. This is according to the U. S.  Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health.
African Americans in losing touch with the land and with traditions handed down for generations, they have also lost an important set of skills: how to grow and prepare healthy food. This has lead to an epidemic of diet-related illnesses now sweeping the country—obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes
Urban Farm Aid will help urban youth learn safe and inexpensive agroecological management practices that emphasize diversity, traditional knowledge, agroforestry, landscape complexity, and water and soil management techniques, including cover cropping, composting and water harvesting. In addition to creating delicious and healthy food to reverse disease these practices sequester CO2 emissions to help reverse climate change.
For more about Urban Farm Aid reversing disease and climate change click here.
Center for Urban Agriculture

Center for Urban Agriculture

One of the long term goals of Urban Farm Aid is to build a facility similar to the Center for Urban Agriculture. The building will include fields for growing vegetables and grains, greenhouses, and rooftop gardens. The will also include affordable housing.
Urban Farm Aid will address the drought in the United States

Drought monitor
According to Dickson Despommier’s The Vertical Farm:

Agriculture runoff is responsible for more ecosystem disruption than any other single kind of pollution. Most of the world’s estuaries have been so adversely affected by runoff that they no longer function as nurseries for the ocean’s marine fish, crustacea, and mollusks. That is why the United States must import more than 80 percent of its seafood from abroad….

The Department of Energy secretary, Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu, flatly stated three weeks after he took office in 2009 that the entire agricultural sector of California would become obsolete in less than fifty years due to lack of a source of noncontaminated fresh water: “I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen. We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California…..”

Steven Chu

According to Wire magazine:

Jeffrey Kightlinger, the general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California…says that his SoCal district, which serves 19 million people (that’s one out of every two Californians), has stored water reserves that will last three years with prudent conservation.

Urban areas get only 20 percent of the state’s water supplies; agriculture guzzles the other 80 percent. Last year, lack of water forced farmers to abandon 400,000 acres of cropland, and they’ll leave over a million acres unplanted this year. Some farmers in California have already had their water supply curtailed or completely cut off. If you like vegetables and fruit, this is a big deal. In 2013 the state exported $21 billion worth of agriculture. It produces nearly half the produce and nuts consumed in the US.

California drought

Steve Denning’s Forbes article, “Roger Martin: How ‘The Talent’ Turned Into Vampires:”

How did America—a country dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal—become one of the most unequal countries on the planet? Why do the nation’s leaders now spend so much of their time feeding at the trough and getting ever more for themselves? Why has public-mindedness in our leaders given way in so many instances to limitless greed?

These questions are being raised, not in some anti-capitalist rag from the extreme Left, but in the staid pro-business pages of the Harvard Business Review, in a seminal article by Roger Martin, the former dean of the Rotman School of Business and the academic director of the Martin Prosperity Institute: “The Rise and (Likely) Fall of the Talent Economy.

One key factor, argues Martin, is a fundamental shift in nature of the economy. Fifty years ago, “72% of the top 50 U.S. companies by market capitalization still owed their positions to the control and exploitation of natural resources.” But in the latter part of the 20th century, a new kind of organization began to emerge: an organization that prospered not by natural resources but through “the control and exploitation of human talent.”

David Tepper

David Tepper

Top hedge manager, David Tepper, earned $1,057,692 an HOUR in 2012 — that’s as much as the average American family makes in 21 years!

Over the last thirty years, the United States has been taken over by an amoral financial oligarchy, and the American dream of opportunity, education, and upward mobility is now largely confined to the top few percent of the population. ~ Predator Nation by Charles H. Ferguson

The economic disaster was driven, Ferguson writes, by a combination of “very low interest rates, pervasive dishonesty through the financial system, massive lending fraud, speculation, demand for high yield securities, and not insignificantly, a squeezed American consumer desperate to maintain living standards, and told by everyone – including George Bush and Alan Greenspan, the brokers and the banks, that home borrowing was the way to do it.”

Charles H. Ferguson won an Academy Award for his documentary Inside Job.

Contrary to what many claim
Douglas Engelbart

On December 9, 1968, Douglas Engelbart demonstrated almost all the fundamental elements of modern personal computing: windows, hypertext, graphics, efficient navigation and command input, video conferencing, the computer mouse, word processing, dynamic file linking, revision control, and a collaborative real-time editor. The funding for Engelbart’s work was provided by the Department of Defense.

In another blog entry, we quote from a book telling us that knowing a person’s image of God provides us with an opportunity to understand the most intimate moral and introspective conversations they have. And if we know your answer to these two questions:

  1. To what extent does God interact with the world?
  2. To what extent does God judge the world?

Then we have tremendous insight into your entire worldview. So if our societal image of God is patriarchal and White what does this mean in terms of equity for people who are not White men?

From a Bible.org article we learn:

In 1887, Sayce first noted the parallels between Genesis 1 and the Egyptian cosmogony of Hermopolis: “the chaotic deep; the ‘breath’ moving on the waters; the creation of light; the emergence of the hill ‘in the middle of the waters.’” Unfortunately, his work was largely ignored.

In 1933 and 1934, Yahuda identified several similarities between Genesis 1-2 and ancient Egyptian texts. He also identified Egyptian influence throughout the Pentateuch.

In 1982, Cyrus Gordon showed similarities between the Egyptian and Hebrew traditions of the creation of man. He drew several parallels between the creation tradition of Khnum, the potter-god, and Genesis 2:4-25

So we find that the writers of the Bible borrowed religious ideas and imagery from other cultures such as Ancient Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria. Instead of retaining the more balanced masculine/feminine dynamics of the other cultures, the writers of the Bible made the ideas and imagery patriarchal.
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