Happy Birthday, "Mile 46!"
"Mile 46: Face to Face in Maasailand" was released on International Women's Day, March 8, 2016 in honor of the incredible and disenfranchised Maasai women who took me in in 1988.
Reading my those journals of my youth that provide the foundation of the book and writing back to myself all those years later began as a personal circuit, but ultimately became a call for action. The cause relates to why we mark March 8 as International Women's Day: all societies must be reminded of the people they too often take for granted, at best, and at worst, the most abused, at risk, and suffering members among them.
I am so honored that "Mile 46" now resides in public libraries where the pleas it makes can reach reader after reader. I am excited even that readers can maybe just enjoy the pictures and maybe think about their neighbors and their world family just a little more generously and kindly. Maybe the book inspires service, maybe travel, and maybe it just turns on the lightbulb that art and social action intersect and that passing through that crossroads opens up new opportunity for dialog and awareness.
The fates of women ebb and flow, and without action, the trends today are dismayingly on the downturn. Radical religious laws and practices, misogynistic autocrats, and hostile work and home environments have all been on the rise. We must speak out and we must act to help ourselves and our sisters, our mothers, and our daughters. We must be generous with organizations that can reach the most remote communities.
Where is your Mile 46?