I work with images, words and people to create material that asks people to challenge their hearts, minds and belief systems. I am a passionate producer, writer, director, filmmaker and activist who creates award-winning documentaries, educational initiatives and books that inspire positive social change. I am not, and cannot be, defined by other people’s limitations. I am a space-being on an intergalactic journey. I have stopped off on Planet Earth to understand the relationship between Spirit and Form. I chose this body/gender as my earthly spacesuit to assist in that understanding. My true identity is energy in motion.
I have worked as an artist since I was a teenager. My art and vision of positive social change have been my primary work throughout adulthood; I took no detours to work in other fields.
Although I wasn’t consciously aware of it, film, and particularly Sidney Poitier and his films, were major elements that molded my belief system as a child and fed my young soul. Not until I wrote my thesis at the New School, however, did I realize that the body of work I create is always about opening hearts and minds. Through my early interactions with Poitier’s works, I eventually discovered a foundation upon which to build my belief system about the power of film and art, and how they can change hearts and minds.
When I was 7, I sat in a movie theater on 134th Street in Harlem, NY, watching “For Love of Ivy.” I fell in love with Sidney Poitier, whose suave, well-dressed character, Jack Parks, owned a trucking company and real estate business by day and ran a gambling operation at night. Parks reminded me of my own beloved father: both well-dressed, smooth talkers with similar skin coloring.
In addition to noting these striking similarities, watching “For Love of Ivy” was also the first time I saw screen images of people who looked like those in my world. This and later movies unconsciously instilled in me a sense of comfort and racial pride.
Media is an integral part of contemporary society that has been quietly infiltrating every aspect of our lives for 150 years. Film, in particular, has always had the power to speak to a wide range of people in an easily digestible form.
My friends call me a “force of nature,” but it’s odd to think of myself as that. I consider myself someone who is making conscious choices about how to use the talents God has given me to uplift, rather than denigrate, our world.
Everything that I do, every breath I take, reminds me that there’s a power greater than myself and that we are all connected. It is my desire to honor that connection to love.