Updated: Aug 16
I am a lifelong die-hard Bruce Springsteen fan. From the time I was 14 years old, I have always loved their music, lyrics, and 3 hour concerts that always leave me begging for more. My favorite part of their shows was not just Clarence Clemons’ earth-quaking saxophone solos, but the magical, mystical, transcendent friendship these two men shared. They were musical soulmates in awe of each other for 40 years and along the way they broke down musical, social, and racial barriers. Together they were able to tell a story to the world much deeper than that contained in their lyrics-a story of unity, equality, justice, and brotherhood. They brought light and hope to many dark times in our history.
As many postulate, incinerate, and aggravate, I spend my energy looking for those that captivate, integrate and illuminate. Usually the universe brings these people to me, but since I don’t go anywhere most days, I was in a bit of trouble until just a few days ago. I found out my daughter’s friend Sophia Mickelson was doing photo shoots and donating all the proceeds to the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization I had never heard of. I was so happy to have received this light in all the darkness these days! These 2020 graduates have been passed a torch of responsibility to illuminate our world and make it a more equitable, just, and united place.
Sophia is a photographer, filmmaker, philanthropist and activist. The EJI, founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, focuses on ending mass incarceration, excessive punishment, and racial inequality. You can find more information about this organization at www.eji.org or @eji_org on Instagram. Since I’ve learned about the EJI through Sophia, I have also gotten my hands on Stevenson’s bestselling book “Just Mercy” as well as listening to several of his podcasts and his Ted Talk which now has over 6 million views!
For those of you in San Diego who would like to schedule a photo shoot with Sophia, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For my New York friends and family, Sophia will be attending Columbia in the fall and will continue using her talents in photography and filmmaking to raise funds and awareness for the Equal Justice Initiative.
“Let light shine out of darkness.” 2 Corinthians 4:6