2016 – Heroes on the Threshold

Fireworks - 3-11-2014 Sara Henning-Stout (c)

This is in no way a complete list. It can’t be. One distinct generosity of my life is that it has brought so many brilliantly inspiring people of integrity and courage. So while these are the ones I’m thinking of right now, do know there are many many more – lots of you reading this, for example!

Michelle Browder – Montgomery, Alabama – was and is tireless in her planning, belief, and inspiration to activating the voices and social creativity of the youth of Montgomery, Alabama in unified and powerful commemoration of the March 4, 1965 Civil Rights March from Selma to Montgomery.

Zaher Wahab – Kabul, Afghanistan – daily applies devotion, fortitude and brilliance, under siege that most of us cannot imagine, as he serves to lead the Masters in Education program in the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF).

Danielle Torres – Portland, Oregon – who wakes up every day to find new ways to support the learning and dignity – the survival and thriving – of all children and youth in schools.

Jon Waterhouse (S’Skallam/Chippewa Cree) & Mary Marshall – Portland, Oregon (just arrived from Anchorage, Alaska) – the astonishing duo who travel the globe to link together Indigenous peoples who live, as their ancestors have for time in memorium, along the remotest sections of the globe’s major rivers.

Marjan Baradar – Beaverton, Oregon – provides counseling to immigrants from war torn Middle-Eastern countries drawing on her vast skills, including those drawn from immigrating herself with her family from Teheran, Iran.

Jane Close Conoley – Long Beach, California – has been my academic and social justice mentor since 1982 and, this year, accepted the role as the first woman to be president of California State University at Long Beach.

Kathleen D. Gunnell-Saadat – Portland, Oregon – I met in 1992 and have known all this time as a teacher with regard to political action, the writing of poetry, and living in ever deepening integrity with essential human kindness.

Michael Salzman – Manoa, Hawaii – (from last week’s post) who continues to light the way.

And Sara Henning-Stout – New Brunswick, New Jersey – my daughter  who has consistently demonstrated courage, intelligence, devotion and beauty in her bold life decisions. This year earning a well-deserved professional post among the best and brightest advocates of books and literature.

My gratitude to and for these people I watched in 2015, devout guides leading us all forward – each one, living the solution.

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