I made this for one of my first darkroom assignments (a montage) in 2001. It has always been one of my favorites. I wish I could credit the original photographers, but it was 12 years ago, and I cut the pictures out of a magazine just for the assignment.  I was inspired by Long Walk to Freedom, which I had read years earlier.  It used to say “i dream,” but that crinkled over in my excitement to learn how to use a scanner way back when.  Either way, that is what Nelson Mandela inspires in me.

“It is what it is,” is such a popular expression these days.  Nelson Mandela showed us that “It is what it is…until it isn’t.”  Let go of the past, but there is no room for complacency when change is needed and human rights are at stake.

If I had to give you one reason that I am a Speech-Language Pathologist, it is this – to help people express themselves and tell their stories.  If I had to tell you one thing that drives me as a photographer, I would tell you the same thing.

Don’t take your voice for granted.

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