Eventfullness: Farms, Homophobia and Hope


It seems this week I’ve been an event-going-fool. I considered blogging about the events- but I wasn’t sure what to say. They were all fantastic. All inspiring in different ways. But I’ll give you a few tidbits rather than the full lowdown.

Thursday is A Taste of Spring

Last thursday I attended A Taste of Spring, a benefit for the UW Farm, at the Center for Urban Horticulture. (Where incidentally I was the last time I blogged.) This was a very last-minute decision – jumping out of the shower, tossing on some clothes and running for the bus – Babylady in tow to meet the Ladyfriend at the UW Q Center for a child-watching change of hands.

I didn’t regret the impulsivity. It was a really nice evening. I got to know a bit more about the UW Farm program and the UW Department of Anthropology and their plans. Hello Food Studies program! Looking at the intersection of food, cultural, health and environment! Seriously? I took the wrong route through college. Wrong. Very wrong. I’d like a do-over please.

Anyhow – I read some cool poster presentations by some super smartypants PhD candidates (Yu Huang, Joyce LeCompte-Mastenbrook and DH Giles) in Anthropology. Molly Wizenberg of Orangette was the keynote speaker.

And, I won the centerpiece.

grow and resist herb gardenI never win anything! Isn’t it the best centerpiece you’ve ever seen? I think so.

The salad was the best greens – only salad I’ve ever had. Yes. Ever. It was fresh and simple with a toss of a balsamic vinaigrette made by the caterers. Mixed greens picked from the premises, delivered in a wheelbarrow. Bits of chives and chive blossoms. Fennel leaves. A great salad makes me swoon. Love.

Friday means Homophobia in Sports & Anti-bullying

Friday’s event was Standing Up Against Homophobia in Sports: The Ben Cohen Acceptance Tour. Ben Cohen, founder of the Stand Up Foundation, spoke at the University of Washington and was part of the panel discussion. Also on the panel were David Kopay (retired NFL & first professional football player to come out in 1973!), Jennifer Hoffman, PhD (Assistant Professor and Center for Leadership in Athletics) and Shannon Kelly (Associate Athletic Director at UW Intercollegiate Athletics). Moderated my lovely Ladyfriend, Jennifer Self, PhD (Director, Q Center)

Bullying is huge. We all know that. Right? Depending on your experiences in life you may of may not know about the impact of homophobia in sports. It is HUGE. HUGE! Players getting benched for nonconformity. Team conflict. It is terrible. Pressures with recruiting players if anyone on team is suspected to be queer. I’d love to say times are different… but they are still pretty rigid.

Wednesday is YES!

Do you read YES! Magazine? It is my favorite. Inspiring. There are a lot of people doing brave, radical and just actions so we can all have a better global world. It was their 15th birthday and the topic was “The Power of Citizen Action: Our Hope for a Better World.” The speakers were amazing. Vandana Shiva was supposed to be there but had to cancel at the last minute. However we heard from Bill McKibben, David Korten, Puanani Burgess and Van Jones. If you are interested in watching the event and speeches you can go here and watch online. (It is 2 parts. The talks begin at 33 minutes into part I, so scroll ahead)

What can I say? I tend to be cynical. Lately I’m pretty grumpy and downright pessimistic. But, wow, I left inspired. Amazing speeches. Van Jones knocked my socks off. He is absolutely amazing. If nothing check above and listen to his speech. Once again, I feel hopeful. I feel like there is a chance at a socially, economically and globally just world.

And we, you and I, are the authors of that hope. Get out there peeps. Let’s get busy!


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