On Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the Creative Visions Foundation Sundowner event at the Dan Eldon Center for Creative Activism in Malibu, CA. Sundowners are a "Kenyan-borrowed summertime tradition — drinks, music, and phenomenal people gathering to toast to a beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean and learn more about creative activism."
Indeed it was a beautiful sunset. After about 45 min of wandering to room trying not to look awkward, Kathy Eldon the founder of Creative Visions gathered everyone around and gave a wonderful and empowering welcome speech. She described the mission and story behind Creative Visions and charged the audience with going deeper into each and every one of our passions to create and tell stories that will change the world. I also had the pleasure of meeting and speaking with a variety of wonderful artists, storytellers, and kindred souls. Those conversations inspired me, fueled my passion, and reaffirmed that there are so many wonderful humans out there just trying to follow their heart and leave this world better than they found it.
The Sundowner was also celebrating the completion of the film Be Relentless produced by Brad Riley (founder of the amazing organization iEmpathize) and Jessie Marek. The film Be Relentless features Norma Bastidas, "a single mother and fearless survivor of human trafficking, sexual violence, abuse and addiction, who on May 5, 2014, shattered the Guinness World Record for longest triathlon by running, biking, and swimming 3,762 miles (6,054 km) from Cancún, Mexico to Washington D.C. as her stand against human trafficking. Be Relentless is the binational, bilingual, feature-length documentary that captured every grueling step of Norma’s record-breaking expedition across two countries. Through Norma’s persistence, Be Relentless proves that everyday people can make an extraordinary impact in seemingly unchallengeable issues."
I had the incredible honor to hear Norma speak about her journey, her passion, and her mission to educate and empower and fight against human trafficking. Not only did her words of survival and change bring me to tears, but her overwhelming strength and grace was palpable. iEmpathize has created The Empower Youth Program for Teens. "The program is a tool that helps those already working with youth to facilitate prevention-focused conversations about empathy and exploitation in their schools and neighborhoods." I can't wait to see the film and encourage all to watch it as well- it is now playing at festivals so be sure to follow iEmpathize on Facebook for the latest screenings and watch the trailer below!