The story of my recent trip to Leipzig, Germany began in 2009. Like much of my current opportunity, it was the fruit of seeds planted during 20 years of volunteer service.
I was a volunteer with the World Affairs Council, an organization that coordinates international cultural and professional exchange for guest of the US State Department. When their participants were interested in issues related to race, social justice or non profit activism, they would sometimes call me to spend some time with their guests. In the past, I had worked with groups from Mexico, Iraq and France. This time, it was a group from Germany.
One of the participants in the group was Anja Triechel, director of Verband Binationaler (Leipzig). The exchange of ideas was very lively and productive. Two years later, when Anja was consulted by the US Embassy about who would be a good person to bring to Germany for their Annual Week Against Racism, she thought of me.
In 2012, I spend one week in Germany. During that short time, I visited 3 different cities for workshops and speaking engagements. The film Schuhe Machen Leute: You are what you wear documents my work with some amazing youth in city of Leipzig.
I returned to Germany in March of 2013 to be part of the film's premiere and a few other screenings. We also conducted a few Mockups workshops, one of which was a follow up activity with the same group of students we worked with in 2012.