Awesome Member of the Week: Hunter Franks Encourages Us to Change Negative Stereotypes in Our Cities
GOOD is featuring interviews of devoted members each week on good.is. Hunter Franks uses creativity to build community. His participatory projects create shared spaces and experiences that break down social barriers and catalyze connections between people and communities. He is the founder of the Neighborhood Postcard Project and the League of Creative Interventionists.
The Last Time I Did Good
Last week I had the chance to speak in front of 800 high schoolers as part of TEDx Gunn High School. Anytime someone tells me that they love what I do, I am humbled and appreciative, but hearing it from eager high schoolers is truly special. High schoolers have a truthful yet optimistic view of the world. They know the challenges we face as a society and world, but they also possess the energy and vision to create the solutions.
A 'Do' I Want to Share With The World
Send a note to a stranger to change negative stereotypes of neighborhoods in your city! Nine months ago I created the Neighborhood Postcard Project after working with youth in San Francisco's marginalized Bayview neighborhood who wanted to change the negative perception of their neighborhood. The project asks residents to fill out a postcard with a personal positive story of a marginalized neighborhood in their city. That postcard is then mailed to a random person in the same city to give them a positive story of a neighborhood they may have only heard or seen the negative side of. Start the project in your city here.
Right now my hero is Theaster Gates, an artist based in Chicago who is working with the community to transform vacant buildings in his neighborhood into hubs of culture and art. His approach, process, and achievements are inspiring.
Talk to a stranger. See what happens. Chances are it will make their day and yours too.
What is your biggest goal for 2014?
I believe what I do is powerful and fun and I want to inspire and enable others to do it too! With that in mind, I have created the League of Creative Interventionists, a worldwide network of people working to break down social barriers and build community through creativity. The League will consist of action-focused monthly meetups, events, and activities. Sign up to be notified when it launches here.
Want to share some insight with the GOOD community? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.