Donate to Our 2nd Annual Back to School Party this Summer 2019

Following the great success of this event in East Hollywood last year, it’s my pleasure to announce a 2nd Annual Back to School Party in our community! Back to School 2 (BTS 2) will feature more live art for youth, renter’s rights for parents, live music, raffle prizes for the kids + more workshops and resources. As with our first Party, your donation will support rental space, tacos for all, backpacks, a scooter & bicycle, helmets, printed photography, art supplies & more. Our event will once again bring different members of the community together, from new business owners to long-time residents, discussing how we can support one another for a “richer” and more inclusive neighborhood experience overall. Please click the button below to make your donation!

And to be sure, for any questions or concerns, our team is just a contact sheet away.

You can also make your donation through our Facebook Fundraiser.



POC Today is Fundraising: Part I

I hope this latest note finds you well. At this moment I have the pleasure of writing to you while the sounds of Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar’s Passages fill the room. Each melody is teeming with life, at once taking me through all the days of this past summer while also pushing me to imagine wildly about all the days still left.

And perhaps it’s just me and growing up in a city of films, but the summertime is always like some kind of a flick: fast-moving, elusive, and roaring with possibility even when it appears to be at its most still. I digress a little, but only to say that I hope your summer has also been filled with an array of new possibilities for learning and expansion out towards the world.

I’ve got some fantastic news: POC Today is cooing out there like the splintered singing of a newborn sparrow. Every moment counts, and even through the silence there’s a miracle at work as time ebbs out yet another lifeline onto this space we all share.

As of this writing, there are a total of 28 videos for viewers to enjoy. 28 might seem humble, and it is, but each video has taken far more hours and efforts and expenditures to put together. More importantly, however, is that each video is ultimately just a preview. There is far more on the way.

When I set out to develop POCT, I took the first steps into the project knowing that it would take time. What I didn’t know, however, is how the summertime in particular would force me to come to grips with the project as a creative endeavor which wouldn’t just challenge the norms of so much culture out there as seen through our LCD screens, but as a project which would also challenge my norms and my personal culture on a day-to-day basis.

On top of work and the other things that make me a fully participant human being in this system we live with, I’ve had to revolve my schedule around the development of POCT as much as I’ve had to adjust my expectations about just what development is, and more than once, this has all led me back to the drawing board.

In this way, it’s as if the summer greeted POC Today with an unrelenting pressure. Sure I set out a vision and worked to set that vision out. But then what followed was the work required to see the vision fulfilled. Rather than one part of this process being a challenge, it has all been a great challenge.

There have to be about a million questions anyone can ask themselves about a creative project. In the end, however, only a few matter:

Do you love the work? Would you be able to live with yourself without it? And if not you, would someone else do it?

I’ve found myself weighing these questions and more, and in the end I come back to the same conclusion: the work for POC Today is supposed to take time precisely because longevity is the goal.

In the day-to-day world that we live in, though, we’re used to an influx of fine-tuned products everywhere we go. From the brilliant billboards sprinkled through the skylines to the fine-tuned sound-waves which resonate from our speakers, to the incredible accuracy of Google maps and the consistency with which all of these grab our attention: there is an amazing production all around us, all the time.

And in many cases there’s quite a budget behind each of these products, as well as what may as well be whole societies behind those budgets. They can be intimidating, off-putting, and ultimately overwhelming, almost as if to say to a young critter surveying the landscape to make their own piece in it:

Who are you to challenge all of us? All of this?

It’s another one of those million questions, but ultimately it comes down to this:

As much as I’d like to have POC Today up and running at full speed at a little over half-a-year since its inception, in which the channel featured all the latest and greatest videos and analyses of the day, the fact of the matter is that’s where the project will be when it’s a full-fledged bird within the flock above the clouds.

But at this time right here and right now, POCT’s still in the nest, and rather than accelerating it from there in a rush to watch its flight, what’s actually more rewarding is to be patient; this is how love is not just born, but bred.

This is also how a village is found. If you’ve read up to this point with me then you know well by now how I’m one of those people who’s always somehow inviting the whole species to come together for some kind of celebration of the new, and the next, and the unknown somewhere.

In this case, however, I’m not just inviting people to CHECK OUT POC TODAY because it is still new, but I’m also asking for your help with a small fundraiser! This is what’s next for the team and I before the Fall shifts us into another gear, and I’m ecstatic to tell you more about it.

In my last letter to the base, I promised to take every bit of support for the project and use the momentum to apply for a grant for POCT . This past May, the team did just that, as we submitted our first grant in hopes of creating a financial framework for the project. I thought we put together a strong introductory letter in our application, but ultimately, we were rejected by the Knight Foundation.

Still, instead of being phased by the rejection, I smirked. It felt great knowing we’ll see the foundation later, since at this point I’ve realized that ‘no’ is something of a generalism when it comes to a course of action that looks to break from the norm in search of something more.

What’s also true though is that of course there have got to be quite a few ‘no’s before the big yes; we’re still just prodding through the nest! So naturally there can only be more applications to submit and more revisions to make from thereon in order to develop a stronger proposal overall; it’s also what makes us a better team and what makes the reward at the end that much more fulfilling.

Surprise though: before we get to our next round of production we’ve got to budget in order to keep the work going, and this is where the village completes us.

After all, who are we NOT to challenge the cultural norms around us?

The term “media” is used mainly disparagingly nowadays, and for good reason. Many of us are worn out by the same talking heads and rhetoric that dominates so much of our news, and we know that change is necessary, except that the same news which exhausts us is also the one that makes change seem untenable and profoundly hopeful.

So what if we change the news? It’s what POC Today is dedicated to.

Who are we to challenge all of this? We’re POCT.

And who are you NOT to join us? You’re one of us.

To donate to POC Today this summer, you can do so HERE.

The fact of the matter is that if everyone in this thread took the $7 they’d spend on a cheeseburger and fries –which for starters pack on so many calories in addition to taking so much from the environment — if everyone reading this took those seven dollars and sent them to POC Today RIGHT NOW, the team’s production and marketing budget would be set for the fall, and maybe even into a bit of 2018.

And if everyone reading this thread took the $20 they’d spend on Korean barbecue and shot them over to POC Today instead, well that’d just be something of an indisputable miracle. You’d have to pinch me more than twice to get me to believe my eyes.

Of course, it’s not that easy. After all, we fight for everything we’ve got, don’t we?

We understand. We play the game too. And so what I’m going to do is give readers three shots…because lucky number three just tends to rock, doesn’t it?

Please consider this shot one, with shots two and three coming soon to another LCD screen near you. I can assure you they’ll be fun. And thank you in advance for your support! Without you none of this could be.

Oh and subscribe to POC Today on YouTube, or follow us on Facebook and Instagram! And if you’ve already got us on there, why not share the pages with a friend?

We can and must do this. As a legion of other courageous believers before us have said:

It is our duty to win.


Hi, Again!

Dear Los Angeles,

I hope this greeting finds you well! I’m writing to invite you all to a special dinner that I’m honored to be a part of this upcoming May 2nd with The PLUS ME Project. As many of you know, by working with the Project over the last couple of months, I’ve had the pleasure of going out to over a dozen different classrooms in L.A. to speak with middle and high school students there. It’s been a tremendous joy for me, as in meeting with these students, I’ve been able to share the story of my long road to college with other young people in the midst of their educational journey. At the same time, it’s served as a new community for me in this most recent chapter of my life; one which I am both honored and thrilled to be a part of.

With this in mind, it’s now my pleasure to invite you all in to this community, as we celebrate PLUS ME’s achievements over the last year with a special dinner and fundraiser! The event will take place at the Ebell club in the majestic Highland Park neighborhood, and feature a catered Italian dinner and open bar, a raffle, and a silent auction filled with awesome prizes for our guests! The event will also feature remarks from students we’ve spoken with, from other educators and supporters of The PLUS ME Project, and from yours truly!

In other words, it’s going to be a groovy Saturday night in Los Angeles. Tickets will be priced at $25 dollars and can be purchased HERE. If however you can’t make the event, you can also buy a ticket for a student, or even donate an item for the auction. Of course, I think the best move is to buy a ticket to attend. We’ll get to see each other, wine and dine, and celebrate good work as all funds from the dinner go towards supporting the PLUS ME Project’s visits to more and more schools.

In the meantime, I’ll happily answer any questions you all might have about the event or other ways in which you can support. Currently, the team and I are heading out to different businesses in L.A. asking for donations or discounts to feature on the raffle, and any help along with that is especially appreciated!

Also as we get closer to the dinner, I’ll be sharing more about just why it will make for such a special night in our community. In the next letter, I’ll describe the experience of heading out to schools and meeting with students to create a meaningful dialogue with them.

So please stay tuned! Per usual, there will be more soon.