A Good Way to Start the Month

4 May

These last three days included marchers, a photography challenging perceptions of the API community, funky music, compost kings with children reigning, and Cambodian hip-hop performers.

May began with International Workers Day. MIWON organized one of the 7 marches that were spread through out Los Angeles to call for immigration reform and workers rights. Placita Olvera was the final destination for marchers who began mid-day in Echo Park.

Demonstrators unveil a "human billboard" at La Placita Olvera area in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, May 1, 2009 during a march and rally for immigration law reform. Organizers are urging passage of an immigration law that provides a path to citizenship for the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants. Sign reads "Workers First." (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Demonstrators unveil a "human billboard" at La Placita Olvera area in downtown Los Angeles on Friday, May 1, 2009 . Sign reads "Workers First." (AP Photo/Damian Dovargane)

While at Placita, I found myself by accident at the Chinese-American Museum. Asian Roots/American Reality is an exhibition of 92 photographs by Corky Lee, a photojournalist capturing the passion and activism of the API community. The photographs tell many brilliant stories of families, workers, immigrants, and movements spread over a 35 year period. Take a free tour and learn some inspiring history that will add to your consciousness

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Police Brutality Victim, 1975. New York City, New York. (Corky Lee)

Saturday night I ended up dancing at FUNKYSOLE at the Echo. A brilliant production that hosted atleast 6 djs, including Clifton, aka DJ Soft Touch, and a female guest DJ from Bakersfield, spinning classic funk music from the 60’s and 70’s to a crowd that had every body jumping, grooving, and even break dancing.

Clifton, aka DJ Soft Touch

Clifton, aka DJ Soft Touch

Sunday I made it out to the Wild Oats Organic Garden in long beach for a Children’s Day Celebration. It was a perfect day to open the vegetable and flower gardens for children to play musical chairs to the drum beats of SKIM, blow bubbles, and enjoy song and poetry.There were also workshops for parents and delicious vegan food provided Food Not Bombs Guerilla Chapter. This event was organized in part by Sumiko Braun, a mother whose intention was to provide a safe and creative space to celebrate children and their free spirits.

Food Not Bomb chefs serving what they do best, vegan justice on a plate :)

Food Not Bomb chefs serving what they do best, vegan justice on a plate 🙂

Joe, the "Compost King", amidst mountains of rotting veggies, helping to keep landfills with less waste, and gardens with nutricious soil. Special thanks to MaryBeth and Jeidi for sharing the garden.

Joe, the "Compost King", amidst mountains of rotting veggies. Special thanks to MaryBeth and Jeidi for sharing the garden.

Girl graciously blowing bubbles...

Girl graciously blowing bubbles...

My highlight was seeing Tiny Toones, on tour through 4 major U.S. cities performing Hip Hop all the way from Cambodia. An empowering and inspirational performance of emcees, break dancers, dj’s, and graffiti artists came together for a fundraiser to continue providing free health and educational services for children in Cambodia.

Brilliant photograph by Jen May (www.jenmayphotography.com)

Brilliant photograph of B-Boy Homie by Jen May (www.jenmayphotography.com)

The founder, Tuy Sobil, was raised in Long Beach spending his daysas a b-boy. Sobil was deported to Cambodia after being caught up with people and in places he should not have been. Children in  Cambodia found out he had mad skills in break dancing and naturally sought him so he could teach them. He soon began to teach break dancing to children who were in need of a positve role model.  In this story, Hip Hop saves lives, again.

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B-boys and B-girl Diamond (front), she is an inspiration to all Khmer girls to become break-dancers too. (photo from tinytoonescambodia.com)

Emcee lyrically performs about ancestors, victims of the genocide, youth culture and ... his motorcycle

Emcee lyrically performs about ancestors, victims of the genocide, youth culture and ... his motorcycle

Mother connects to his son, Tuy Sobil, whom she has not seen since his deportation. She expressed her pride in tears for the work he has inspired in the children of Cambodia.

Mother connects to his son, Tuy Sobil, whom she has not seen since his deportation. She expressed her pride in tears for the work he has inspired in the children of Cambodia.
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One Response to “A Good Way to Start the Month”

  1. Jen May May 4, 2009 at 1:24 PM #

    Great blog, thanks for including my photo 🙂

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