I was honored to attend the Indigenous Day of Remembrance at Columbus Circle yesterday for the second time. This peaceful gathering is a memorial service in honor of the ancestors and heritage of indigenous people. Respects were paid through dance, song, stories, and an offering of sage and tobacco. Although it is neither a protest nor a political event, it was difficult to ignore the NYPD gated and guarded statue of Christopher Columbus and Trump Tower both across the street.
With much reflection, I have come to learn that my camera serves many purposes in my life. For me, it is as much a tool for connection and comprehension, as is it is for expression. I was led to this event through an interest in the culture and heritage of my students, the majority of whom have roots in Dominican Republic and Ecuador. As a child, the “discovery” story did not make sense. As a teacher of students with indigenous heritage, I feel a responsibility to pay my respects to their ancestors and learn more. One story that I will carry with me was read by Maritza Feliciano Potter and her daughter, Charity yesterday. Encounter by Jane Yolen tells the story of the first encounter between Christopher Columbus and the Taino people in 1492 from the perspective of a young boy. Hearing it highlighted powerfully how one-sided history can be. As I’ve learned from my camera, one perspective rarely (if ever) tells the whole story.
I attended the Black Lives Matter Rally for Justice in Nyack last night, when I heard calls for justice from my apartment. Here are some photos from tonight’s peaceful protest. I spoke with an organizer following the event, and asked about the movement’s work for justice beyond issues with the police (e.g., education and healthcare). She shared that they work to address issues raised by individual communities, for example education related issues in East Ramapo and waterfront issues in Newburgh. Note: These photos are presented in chronological order. Nothing has been added or removed.
Here are some shots from Riverkeeper Sweep at North Cove in Inwood yesterday. This is my third time shooting a clean-up at North Cove, and I am inspired every time. The event was a true collaboration by Riverkeeper, Conservancy North, Manhattan Wetlands and Wildlife and MTA Ninth Avenue Unit Shop. Beyond agencies and organizations, it was about people. People from Inwood and beyond showed up to clean, BBQ, play music, listen to music, dance, check out classic cars, and even play tag – all in support of North Cove. While much was accomplished, there is much work to be done to protect North Cove and all of our waterways. Only time will tell the impact this weekend’s Indian Point oil spill will have on the Hudson River…
Roger Meyer of Conservancy North battles an underground tire.
Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez showed his commitment by joining the volunteer clean-up crew.
Jim Cataldi and Councilman Rodríguez discuss environmental issues, while the kids explore. Jim “Birdman” Cataldi started it all through his individual efforts to clean out North Cove. Check out http://www.nycwetlands.org for more information.
More captions to come…when I can figure out why they are changing the order of the photos. After midnight brain just can’t.
Some photos from today’s peaceful and inspiring People’s Climate March in NYC. I’m so happy to have been a part of it, though my midway Starbuck’s break (complete with a disposable cup) was a sobering reminder that marching today is just not enough. I have some changes to make.