About

Artist, Writer, Activist

The overriding theme of my Earth walk has been to tackle the issue of poverty. This is something I have tried to examine from every avenue available to me. As an undergraduate student at the University of Minnesota and as a conceptual artist seeking to enlighten society, the issues of racism, classism and poverty have been my driving force.

 

I have come to the conclusion that homelessness and hunger represent our societal ground zero. The homeless of today are our lepers. We are the untouchables, dehumanized, vilified and criminalized for having the audacity to want to stay alive without money in our pocket. While I was living on the street and later in a shelter, I saw firsthand how vicious the scorn and judgement can be and how long it takes to heal from that trauma.

There are many, many pieces of the narrative surrounding homelessness that are being neglected at best and good people who want to make a difference need to know the truth. This is why I wrote my memoir, The Lightworker’s Guide to Homelessness. Far too many people still seem to be under the impression that the only people who end up homeless are drug addicts, criminals or lazy. Despite plenty of research to the contrary, this bias has not yet been eradicated from our collective psyches enough to ensure affordable and supportive housing is widely available. Withholding basic necessities from disabled citizens is not something we should ever allow ourselves to grow this accustomed to.

How can we ever call ourselves civilized or claim to be a species with consciousness when we don’t have a reliable system in place for the most vulnerable among us?

We can’t

The cultural aspects of our economy (media, celebrity, advertising) has created a spiritual and psychological void we can all sense. As we compete to get our piece of the pie, we actually find we experience less free time, less opportunities to reflect and connect with nature and fewer options and resources. And this is true for over half of all working Americans. We have come face to face with the immorality of excessive hoarding of economic resources yet find ourselves without recourse. We have allowed ourselves to succumb to ego driven manipulation and this shows clearly that we have reached a developmental plateau of a moral and spiritual nature that we cannot afford to ignore any longer.

As we gather the energy and determination to make this leap into walking forward in a co-creative dance with each other, we must remember to love each other, to create many examples of this so it becomes the theme -the highlight- of our collective history.  Humans really do love each other.

It is with these insights in mind, that I have begun the arduous task of taking matters into my own hands. I am collaborating with several incredibly intelligent and motivated souls to create an eco-village that will become a member of a broader network of such communities. This will be a skills based communal living environment. We will strive to serve as a model for sustainable living and carbon negative impact. We will function much like an artist cooperative without a buy-in feature and hope to support homeless and formerly homeless artisans specifically. In addition to the sale of original art, we will engage in other endeavors such as offering guided meditation retreats and the sale of eco-friendly technologies in order to remain fiscally sound. If this is something you are interested in supporting please click the link below and make a donation today.

With much gratitude…

May we all know the meaning of the word “home” when we look into each other’s eyes.

www.paypal.me/MelissaLaFontaine