Got used laptops and smart phones? Donate them to MIRA!

This spring, I’m teaching a course in digital storytelling for MIRA, a great organization, and they need help. Hope Traficanti is the president and co-founder, and she says everything about the drive below. What I’ll add is this is a great group of people offering digital tools and storytelling structure to young adults seeking work and earning their high school degree equivalency. I’m proud to be working with MIRA, and your support will offer a foundation for a fledgling organization with big ideas. If you have any used electronics, please consider donating.

Thank you,
James

Turn those last-generation electronics into tax deductions 

MIRA, a 501(c)3 charitable organization I helped to found, is about to launch a training programme in digital storytelling for young men and women who did not complete formal education.

MIRA’s mission is to provide vulnerable youth with a global platform for sharing their stories with the world, and to create a more diverse global media that promotes open information exchange.

This spring’s course will enable participants in the Henry Street Settlement’s Youth Employment Programme to explore new ways of engaging their communities, potential employers and wider audiences, using storytelling as a vehicle for digital media education. 

Many in the community have already lent their very generous support to MIRA at its fall fundraiser – their support has made this initiative possible. However, we are still lacking basic tools with which to train our participants.

We are seeking donations of used:

  • iPhone 4 and 5s
  • Samsung SmartPhones
  • Macbooks
  • PC laptops
  • Digital cameras that have the ability to record video

Even heavily used equipment is appreciated as long as it is in good working condition. As a 501(c)3 organization, donations to MIRA are tax deductible, and MIRA will gratefully issue you a tax-deduction acknowledgement letter.

Get a tax deduction and reduce clutter while helping young people – a win-win!

To make donations, contact me at h.traficanti [at] mira-ngo.org, and specify the type of equipment along with its general condition. To learn more about MIRA, visit www.mira-ngo.org. Thank you!

Hope Traficanti, President and co-founder

found poem from a chat with jay z, warren buffett and steve forbes

Steve Forbes sat down for a conversation with Warren Buffett and Jay Z about success, hard work and philanthropy. It’s a wonderful portrait of two men from different generations comparing and contrasting their lives. I took a few notes and created a little sound bite found poem. Some of the words are direct quotes, some are the spirit of what was said, and some won’t make sense unless you watch the video. Guess who said what, and then see how many you got correct.

Start young. Be smart enough.
Don’t lose your shit.
Truth. Authentic. Discipline. Luck.
Do what you love. Don’t give up.
Embrace change. Practice. Take time to develop. 
Know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. 

1 + 1 = 3. 
Try to create once in a lifetime experiences. 
The best boat you can have is your own talent. 
Education is important.
Emulate people you admire. 

Give back generously; you will have enough to live.

Thanks, Arian Moayed, who shared this video in the social feeds.

biscuit! the super power of touretteshero

About a year ago, my friend Matthew Pountney introduced me to Jessica Thom. Well, he virtually introduced me to her alter ego, Touretteshero. Jessica was born with Tourette’s and does not medicate (aside from muscle relaxants) because of unwelcome side effects. As a result, her tics are frequent – she spouts the word “biscuit” 16,000 times a day – and they strain everyday relationships. When Matthew shared Jessica’s website with me, I was inspired.

Aside from Jessica’s obvious bravery, I’m extremely impressed with her transmedia approach to share her story. She embraces Tourette’s as a super power and uses this narrative to teach children about the syndrome. Thus, Tourretteshero was born. Jessica offers workshops for kids where they can embrace their own super heroes, and she’s got a YouTube page featuring fun videos about her work and causes she supports.

Her website shares interactive art created by Touretteshero fans based on Jessica’s verbal tics. She posts the tics and allows fans to vote for their favorite tics. Fans have created illustrations based on the tics, including some of the hilarious R-rated drawings you can see here.

I’ve got ninety nine problems but a bear ain’t one.

Quirky video art duo chris+keir re-enacted a number of Touretteshero’s tics as performances.

She remixed soundbites into a song featuring actor and comedian Stephen Fry, and, of course, a multi-platform campaign wouldn’t be complete without social media, which you can follow on all the typical channels. My favorite is TicBot – the only bot on Twitter I will endorse – which randomly injects tweeted tics into your feed when you least expect it. Follow @ticbot. Fun stuff.

And now, Jessica is publishing her diaries, Welcome to Biscuitland: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero. You can read some excerpts from the book on The Mail’s website, and pre-order the book on Amazon.

The more I see from Jessica, the more I want to meet her in person. An ocean divides us, but I’ve hope Matthew’s virtual introduction will someday lead to a face to face meeting. Jessica’s creativity, humor and bravery inspires me to not only make good, fun art, but create important work that educates and enlightens.

Tourettshero.com

Welcome to Biscutland: A Year in the Life of Touretteshero