Thursday, April 7, 2011

Another awesome Harvard opportunity

On Tuesday, the latest in a long series of guest speakers for my class on The Wire was one of its stars, Sonja Sohn, who played the police officer Kema Greggs on the show. She brought along a major in the Baltimore Police and the woman who works as Program Director for her nonprofit community group, ReWired for Change. They run afterschool programs and give counseling, yoga classes, and urban gardening lessons to kids of different ages in East Baltimore, a pretty cool development from just playing a character on TV.
The best part was that I got to be one of fifteen students allowed to sign up for a pizza lunch ahead of class with Ms. Sohn and her colleagues. We mostly socialized, asked some questions about why she changed to this kind of work after the show, and got some specific tips for working with kids and teens at risk. It turns out acting was a profession she resisted for a long time out of a sense that she was meant to make more of a difference in the world, so the transition was very natural.

My favorite thing she said: "We were all put here to work for the forward movement of humanity, and what you need to do is wake up each morning asking, 'Am I doing that? Every day, in my every act?'"

Pretty inspiring.

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