3.25.2011

Slam Poetry Anyone?

On March 21 I had the privilege of taking a study break and seeing Carlos Andres Gomez preform some slam poetry at WLU with a friend Jake.

We weren't really sure what to expect and this was my first take at slam poetry. When we walked in this is what it looked like!
Packed Full!

This got me so excited to hear him speak! I'm not sure I would have been a fan of other slam poetry had it not been that his poems were reflecting what March 21st is.

For those of you who are still scratching your head I'll save you from the embarrassment of not knowing! March 21st marks the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. As noted before, I love talks, discussions, debates etc about these topics so hey!- I could tackle slam poetry too.

Gomez is from New York City and was incredible! One of the things that describes his work is intimate. When the MC first introduced him with that word I was extremely puzzled but shortly after when he talked about the Rwanda Genocide or the way he describe someone in New York getting shot 40 times on no grounds- i realized what he meant. It was intimate. I was right there with Gomez and he made me feel emotions and bring out such a raw and vulnerable feeling after each act. Although this may sound "weird" it was actually amazing. I believe so strongly in the power of peoples words and he definitely used his words and his talent of poetry to connect with the audience, teach us something and make a lasting impression.

O and can I add that he wasn't bad to look at either!

Carlos shared 12 poems! Titles of the poems ranged from: Hand-stich (looking at homosexuality), Distinctly Beautiful (making his grade 7 girls write this and believe it before they left the class), Save Africa ("I did not go to save Africa but to humbly observe, so one day Africa can save me"), Never Again (what people said after Rwanda) and the list goes on!

At the end of his show he was open to talking to people and getting to know us more! Jake and I pounced on the opportunity to get a picture with him and tell him just how blessed we were to hear him speak! However the funny part is- my camera's flash was turned off and Jakes camera went out of focus so basically the pictures suck!

So here is the average picture of Carlos Andres Gomez

I learnt a lot that night and I'm pretty sure I'll be searching out more slam poetry nights in the future!

Have an AWESOME weekend everyone!

Mads.

3.24.2011

Romeo Dallaire



It's almost been a week since I heard this incredible man speak and I apologize for not blogging about him sooner! 4 essays and two tests has literally taken up all my time!

Romeo Dallaire has been one of the many people I look up to. There are abundant number of reasons but my main reason for constantly being inspired is the way he stood up. It can be so hard to stand up, go against the grain and live a different lifestyle especially when you are in a different country in a war zone.

When Dallaire was told to evacuate Rwanda like the rest of the world- he said no. When he talked last Friday he said there is a difference sometimes between following the law and living morally. This was a huge inspiration to me because I get so scared sometimes and I don't stand up- I follow the crowd and live a lifestyle that really isn't inspiring.

I was inspired and amazed on Friday. I still get shivers just thinking about how everyday people have the ability to stand up and make a difference.

I have 3 pages of notes that I took while he spoke but I'll narrow it down to a few of my favourite points!

  • When he started talking he said that he wanted to make us feel uncomfortable- that was his goal. If we did not feel uncomfortable he didn't do his job because these horrific atrocities should make us feel something. ( I smiled so big at this thought because how many times do speakers want to make their audience "feel good"- Dallaire is real.)
  • "we should be trying to shape the future, rather than survive it"
  • The theme throughout the talk was: are all humans human? Are we all equal? If so than why do we put natural resources and gains over humans time and times again- he gave powerful personal experience while being in Rwanda!
  • We are no different than human beings living in another country- stop acting like you are!
  • 51 million IDP (internationally displaced persons) 16 million refugees worldwide today
  • In the last 20 years only 2 wars were fought face to face with your opponent- new era of war-  a new tactic to instil fear and horror is rape
  • children are the primary weapon of war- 40% being girls
  • Major problem: we have these rules, laws, human rights but the opposition aren't playing by the rules
  • INACTION IS AN ACTION
  • Solutions to stop the rage: (his list) #1 Empowerment of women #2 Education of children              # 3 Mutual respect vs tolerance #4 Responsibility to protect
He is an amazing man who acted  in a positive way!
What are you doing to stand up? & do you believe all humans are human? - If so, are you living that way? (huge challenge for me! )

here's a few more pics of the evening!



3.23.2011

One Shirt- 60 days





Can one shirt really make a difference?


This is something I have struggled with. Our North American culture is constantly screaming at us, that it is all about me.
It is something that has bothered me but that has been it.

But this past month I am sick of it. I am tired of me saying I want to change the world and than living in ways that don't reflect it.

I'm going against the cultural norm and wearing one shirt for 60 days. ( I promise it will be washed! )
I am going to South Africa and living with people who only have one shirt- if they can do it- why can't I? They don't have a choice but yet they survive, while I'm buying so many clothes and thinking its all about me and what I want.

This will be a hard challenge but a wake up call for sure.
I made a video about it explaining more - check it out here http://vimeo.com/21424248

Wanna join me- even for a week!?

Also let me know what you think of this!

always with love.
mads

3.19.2011

South Africa Update

South Africa Update:

I'm a very romantic sentimental person and I love to capture moments as they are happening. Therefore I made videos of how I felt at that time on my journey to South Africa.

I want to not only capture the time I'm there but capture the before and after clips. In doing this I have been vloging (video blogging)

This is HUGELY embarrassing seeing myself on these videos but if I have access to the internet there I will post lots of videos up so you can meet the girls and see the school etc

So here is the first two!


http://vimeo.com/21172989
http://vimeo.com/21248311

With love
Maddie

3.18.2011

Romeo Dallaire!

I am just so excited to see this incredible man tonight.
He is coming to Waterloo (my university- yes my university!) to speak for a few hours and I have a ticket!!!

I'll post once I hear him out- but I just had to post this morning cuz I'm so stoked!




Loves.
Maddie

3.17.2011

Gender Equality




This a serious topic. A topic that until 4 weeks ago I didn't find so serious. Living in Canada, I know that I have a lot. I am so blessed and I am turning into a very stubborn independent women.

While our FEDS was running for different student council positions there were several attacks against women running for this position. Certain people, person, group ( we still do not know) posted flyers on top of the girls flyers. These flyers had a picture of Marie Curie and a mushroom cloud on the poster. Than it went to question whether women should ever take a position of leadership if a nuclear war happened.  Not only did the posters not represent the truth of Marie Curie it was a huge dis to women across campus.

Our women's center and GLOW closed down for the rest of the week due to concern of saftey for their volunteers because this same group was sending emails saying these clubs shouldn't exsist.

Another poster came up with Adam and Eve, representing of how "ruined" humanity. Fake emails were also sent out to female professors reminding them that they shouldn't be teaching.

My first response when I saw the posters was not negative- but it just looked like a cry for help from some small group that wanted attention. Only after did I realize the seriousness of these actions and the fact that these people felt comfortable enough to keep posting these.

Racism happens in Canada. It happens in Waterloo. It happens at my University. This was a new shock to me but one that I am taking very seriously. Recently it was International Women's Day and let me tell you I am so proud to be a women. But when I posted this there were a few different men that commented saying that women don't deserve this day, that women are oppressed etc etc. I found these comments so personal and so hurtful. I got a small taste that afternoon what feeling less than someone based on gender felt like.

There was a meeting for people to talk about these events on campus and I was excited to attend for a few reasons. 1) I wanted to get the actual facts on what was going on 2) I wanted to hear what others felt and were going through 3) I just love discussions 4) Empowerment is a HUGE passion of mine.

I attended on Thursday March 4th and I will blog more about these experiences because I'm attending another one this coming Tuesday which I am excited about. Questions that arose included: What were people's reponses? What charges could be laid? Would something like this discourage women to run for leadership roles? What about women and oppression in other countries around the world? and lastly, thoughts on where we go from this discussion.

I must say it was very productive and there was great view points shared. Def. made me think!

Raising Awareness

I'll admit it.
I'm addicted to Michelle Brocks blog called Hope for the Sold.
She educates people about the importance of human trafficking and asking people to be aware of it

A campiagn came up that CNN is running and I think it's fabulous.
Check it out here http://ireport.cnn.com/ir-topic-stories.jspa?topicId=565147

All you have to do is take a picture or short video of you saying something along the lines of you are taking action to end modern day slavery. Than post it up on CNN

Here's my pic that I posted :)


Any questions? Feel free to ask me


3.08.2011

Being Renewed

University = stressful. If you've ever taken university classes or been to university you will know exactly how I feel. This next month is going to be chaotic and I am just getting so bummed out about school and grades.


This weekend has been one of many changes in my life and I was just feeling really discouraged. Than one of my dearest friends sent me this bible verse.‎


2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


God totally used Alexis to send me this verse cuz it was everything that I needed to hear! Our God knows exactly what we need and I am so happy that he is looking out for me all the time!


It made me realize that in Christ we are being renewed day by day. I so needed to fix my eyes back on Christ and fully rely on him everyday but escp. in this hard time.


So today I opened my window wide (which made me so cold) made a pot of tea, snuggled with in my warmest blanket, opened my bible and let God renew me. The crisp wind felt so good on my face and gave me such a refreshing feeling.  Just like we can't see the wind but we can feel it- we can't always see God physically  but boy did I feel him today.



Proof that my window was open on a cold march day!


Love,
Mads

3.03.2011

Desire to be educated

This past month I have been reading a lot about the issues of women and what they are going through today. (I get to work with 10-15 girls in August!)
 There has been so much chaos at our school with racism against females and I will be travelling to South Africa fairly soon in a country where rape is the norm. I need to be educated.

I keep renting out these books because I want to be educated and I believe that in order to be fully used you need to become educated on the issue. Book after book my hearts breaks for these women who get raped every day and and are slaves today. I have a passion to help and through that education is key- even if tears are streaming down my face and I am angry afterwards.

(The stack of books I am reading right now)


This morning in my quiet time, God really spoke to me about my preparations for Africa. He reminded me that I was right. (which is knew to me! ) It is so important to be educated (and read all those books) in order to be fully used.

But God wasn't done there. I keep telling God that I want to be fully used and do great things in his name. A common prayer is that I want to reach the lost and heal the broken. But how many times do I pick up the book of life to get prepared to be fully used? How often do I long to read my bible so I can be prepared to serve others and continue to fall in love with God?

If I want to be used by God, I need to continually be educating myself in his word.
What a common but fresh message the Lord spoke to my heart this morning.

3.02.2011

WE DAY!

Thursday February 17 2011

A day I will never forget. With incredible speakers, front row seats and my old high school. It was an amazing day.

The thing that struck me the most was when I looked across the Aud and realized there were 6 000 thousands other students in this with me.

Sometimes being a social activist can seem tiring. I find it frustrating when I talk about issues and no one seems to care let alone know about. There is so much we can do and have the power to do and sometimes it feels like none of that is getting done.

But WE DAY was the best reminder that we are all in this together (corny- but so true). As I looked around and saw other people who had the same desire to make change I just smiled to myself and was deeply encouraged.

I am heading to South Africa in 162 days and I'm so excited/nervous to be able to create change and be changed with these beautiful people. Right now with my activism I'm learning! I'm learning as much as I can about the country, AIDS, rape etc and trying to equip myself so I can be more useful when I'm there.

Here are a few pics of the day!


 My favourite part of the day! Meeting Jessie Jackson everyone. I will never forget this.


 Crowd pumpers!
 My beautiful sister!


 We were right by the stage!:)

 The Barenaked Ladies
 Spencer West:)
 Al Gore- need I say more?
& some entertainment for the day by Stereos

People are out there creating change! Be encouraged.
What are you doing to create change?

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