Saturday, October 25, 2014
Rounding The Bend
The road-trippers reach Long Island, NY, home of writer Beverly Donofrio. Beverly recounts a long list of personal failures ? getting put in remedial English, a failed thesis, a lost job ? between bouts of reflective laughter. You have to laugh, she tells the road-trippers, and thrive from adversity; take a real look at the opportunities that are presented to you, and say yes as often as you can. From there, the road-trippers head to Detroit, MI, where they encounter one of the renegade artists who is taking back the city. Spoken word poet Airea Dee Matthews urges the road-trippers to find rebirth in collapse. In the mostly abandoned city, the artists of Detroit don't see decay, but possibility. The road-trippers see the decay for themselves when they tour an abandoned building and experience the sense of freedom and energy that drives the artists' push for regeneration. Next, in Chicago, IL, Tele'jon struggles to reconcile his mentors' suggestion that he become a professor with his disillusion with the educational system. After interviewing Professor David Stovall, Tele'jon sees that David shares his concerns about access and privilege, and uses his position to create change. Tele'jon leaves the interview feeling more confident that he'll go to college.
Monday, October 27, 2014
The Long Road Home
After 34 interviews and several thousand miles on the odometer, it's the end of the road and the road-trippers have one interview left. In Milwaukee, WI, they interview Will Allen, founder and CEO of Growing Power, a nonprofit that proves local food systems can create jobs, improve the health of the community, fight racism, and bring urban and rural communities together. Will shares his journey from sharecroppers' son to basketball player and back to farming. He poses the question, "How do you stay energized?" and responds that you have to be passionate, and you must have the patience to put in the hard work to truly reach that point of passion where the hours fly by. As the road-trippers get back in the RV, they reflect on stories and lessons from the road. Tele'jon follows the common threads that connect the Leaders' experiences and truly understands what it means to say that everything is possible. Olivia has newfound confidence that there's no such thing as a mistake. There's no wrong thing you can do, so do everything. Ed vows to leave his safety net and come to the edge and jump. "I've found a new world and a new way of living," he says, "and I like it." At the airport, Olivia, Tele'jon and Ed say their last goodbyes and move ahead, determined to take advantage of everything the road has shown them.