KPCC hosted the first event of three this past Sunday called UNHEARD LA. It is about the stories where we live. There were ten fascinating people that told their story to an auditorium of 400 people at Whittier college on this first night of the series. It just so happens that one of those people was our son, Erik Benjamins. The stories were incredible and so diverse and offered an inside view of living in Los Angeles. It truly highlighted what many of us love about LA - the multicultural community and culture, openness, along with stories of opportunity and possibility. The storytellers were from very different backgrounds and experiences for sure and KPCC did their magic in producing a rich introspective into people where we live.
So our son, Erik shared his story about a recent successful book project. His book is called Last Day First Day and he shares the process of gathering the letters from 186 individuals from all over the world and this country so that they could write to former President Obama and incoming President Trump on what they wanted to say to each on their last or first day.
I really appreciated that Erik talked about writing as a practice like going to the gym. Through this project he realized so many of us are hesitant to or chose not to invest in this practice for ourselves. Maybe it is easier to text these days. In this exercise others were asked to express thoughts in word, image, drawing or whatever to write this letter to our outgoing and incoming Presidents on January 20th.
I like the idea that writing is a personal and even intimate practice and there are so many rich ways to express our thoughts and vulnerabilities. The individuals that told their stories were vulnerable, honest and inspiring. They expressed an optimism and possibility even in light of some that had great adversity to deal with. Thank you KPCC for bringing the voices of LA to our community and thank you Erik for encouraging us to write and start new conversations.