They say that everyone experiences a little (or a lot of) anxiety when they are preparing to take the first big step into the real world, doing what they know to be meaningful work:Anthropologists are charged with the task of understanding and representing cultures that otherwise have little voice; leaders are faced with the moment they take on the responsibility of others; and activists become anxious to lead social change by inspiring others. My name is Abby and I am all of those three things; and I am in fact, nervous.

Through short YouTube films and a photo journal project I will be acknowledging the hope and success which homeless men and women experience when they work with Street Sense (www.streetsense.org) in Washington DC. My goal is to inspire you, the readers of this blog, to have meaningful conversations and move towards creating social change.  My project is comprised of four goals: understand, create, educate, and reflect. Through these four goals I will be creating a campaign with the help of others to understand and pay tribute to the change that Street Sense is enabling in the lives of homeless men and women. I will be documenting their stories and working with them to understand why the Street Sense model works.

So here we are, at the first step. All of the sudden all of the preparation I’ve done must be good enough and I am charged with the task of taking a deep breathe and trusting that I can handle it. I have over 300 pages of reading on homeless populations, anthropological methods of activism, and how leaders must carry themselves and understand their colleagues and followers. So, I guess I’m ready. I’m accepting that every anthropologist feels anxious before they enter the field, that every leader questions their ability to lead others, and that every activists struggles to balance their passion with the reality they are in. Accepting and embracing. So.. deep breathe.. first step. Here we go.

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