In Footsteps of Gordon Parks

by Robin Patricia Hickman | Apr 03, 2013
| 1 Comment

Summary:

I'm blessed to have walked so closely with my great-uncle, legendary photographer, filmmaker, author, composer and social advocate Gordon Parks, to have shared laughter and tears about family, folks, work and life. He was my mentor since childhood, not only influencing what I do for a living, but how I do it. I knew the essence of him, which desired so deeply to heal and inspire hope. During my last visit with him, he expressed his concern about the destiny of Black boys, were they any better off than he was as a young Black man... Surviving on the streets of St. Paul and navigating on a path toward promise, with road blocks of poverty and prejudice. My commitment to him before his passing, was to protect, preserve and promote his legacy. I did it while he was living with hundreds of St. Paul youth, and now I'm very focused on connecting with other like minded, hearted and spirited folks who "get" the power of infusing Uncle Gordon's journey in lives of our young people and in society. I've got some life transformation stories, in fact the pitch I gave Uncle Gordon about the doing the HBO doc was that his life was a blue print for youth to claim victory over their challenges and tragedies. I so desire to walk with others who love him and can embrace a vision to place life affirming weapons in their hands. I can’t express how honored I am to be so well prepared and positioned to do this passion work. I'm so filled up, I'm on fire about the potential of it all. This Parks movement proposes to continue the work of nurturing of youth through curriculum based instruction and mentorship, erecting a Parks statue in downtown St. Paul and in celebrating the spirit and impact of his life. In partnership with Parks' legacy efforts in Kansas and New York, I share with many local supporters that St. Paul become a premier destination for experiencing Parks and by exposing, engaging and empowering generations, who can/will walk in his footsteps.

About You

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About You

First Name

Robin Patricia

Last Name

Hickman

City

St. Paul

County

Ramsey

Country

United States, MN

Website (if you have one)

Names of others who helped contribute to my idea

S. Hardy, A Si-Asar, G Parks, PFH, family and community

How did you hear about the Forever Saint Paul Challenge?

Amazing folks who support the vision, you know who you are SH, CC, SD. Don't want to put you on blast;-)

About Your Organization (if applicable)

Organization Name (if applicable)

SoulTouch Productions

Organization Website

Organization Phone

Organization Address

182 No. Milton St.

City

St. Paul

Organization Country

United States, MN

Your idea

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Title of your idea

In Footsteps of Gordon Parks

Give us the highlights of your idea for making Saint Paul great (2,000 characters maximum or approx. 250 words)

I'm blessed to have walked so closely with my great-uncle, legendary photographer, filmmaker, author, composer and social advocate Gordon Parks, to have shared laughter and tears about family, folks, work and life. He was my mentor since childhood, not only influencing what I do for a living, but how I do it. I knew the essence of him, which desired so deeply to heal and inspire hope. During my last visit with him, he expressed his concern about the destiny of Black boys, were they any better off than he was as a young Black man... Surviving on the streets of St. Paul and navigating on a path toward promise, with road blocks of poverty and prejudice. My commitment to him before his passing, was to protect, preserve and promote his legacy. I did it while he was living with hundreds of St. Paul youth, and now I'm very focused on connecting with other like minded, hearted and spirited folks who "get" the power of infusing Uncle Gordon's journey in lives of our young people and in society. I've got some life transformation stories, in fact the pitch I gave Uncle Gordon about the doing the HBO doc was that his life was a blue print for youth to claim victory over their challenges and tragedies. I so desire to walk with others who love him and can embrace a vision to place life affirming weapons in their hands. I can’t express how honored I am to be so well prepared and positioned to do this passion work. I'm so filled up, I'm on fire about the potential of it all. This Parks movement proposes to continue the work of nurturing of youth through curriculum based instruction and mentorship, erecting a Parks statue in downtown St. Paul and in celebrating the spirit and impact of his life. In partnership with Parks' legacy efforts in Kansas and New York, I share with many local supporters that St. Paul become a premier destination for experiencing Parks and by exposing, engaging and empowering generations, who can/will walk in his footsteps.

Website address (if applicable)

In the Footsteps of Gordon Parks on Facebook

Innovation

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What makes your idea different or unexpected? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

'In my youth, violence, poverty and racism became my enemy... Photography, music, film and writing became my weapons I use against them.' -Gordon Parks This movement will present Parks as a vision of possibilities for youth, who like him have been dismissed and discounted, but possess potential and promise. The impact of the initiative's is best exemplified in the testimonials its participants, one of the most moving from a student at Obama Elementary. At the beginning of the IFGP experience he wrote an essay about his life vision, 'I can do better in school, go to college and play in the NBA, but I’m only going to live to be 21.’ His proclamations during the experience,‘I can shoot pictures, direct the camera and write poetry like Mr. Parks, I think I can live to be 92 like Mr. Parks!’

Impact

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This Entry is about (Issues)

How will your idea make a difference in Saint Paul? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

People locally, nationally and internationally will come to St. Paul to engage in this unique Gordon Parks experience.
• CHOICE of Weapons Artistic Activism Movement- Learning institute and fellowship initiative, which engages youth and community in artistic and social impact experiences representing Parks’ work and legacy.
• Annual Parks Celebration- Events will feature nationally acclaimed “friends of Gordon” (filmmakers, actors, etc.), family and showcase/exhibit CHOICE “fellow’s” performance and work.
• Parks Monuments- Sculptures of Parks at significant locations to his life in the Twin Cities (main site at 5th and St. Peter).
• CHOICE/Learning Tree Lecture Series- Feature local and national presenters representing the arts, academic enrichment and advocacy.

Sustainability

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Why do you think people will recognize or remember your idea after it comes to life? How might it inspire others to do something similar in their community? (4000 characters maximum or approx. 500 words)

People will remember the Parks movement, because of the power of his legacy and the power of the young men who will bring his legacy to life as they walk in his footsteps. This movement will serve as a model for others to lift up great women and men, who have made great contributions to humanity, and make them relivant to youth. Historian Dr. John Hendric Clark believed that 'young people who know they came from greatness, can believe they are great and will be great in the future. They'll understand their purpose and responsibility to contribute great things.' After reasearching the life an inspiring woman in "herstory", Lovin' program participant wrote "maybe we'd feel different if we'd appreciate the women and stop taking them for granted, we'd find what we've been missing."

hadiyah143 hadiyah143 said: Some footsteps of people are very impressive. That is also another way to see how successful they are. - YOR Health about this Competition Entry. - 2597 days ago read more >

Robin Patricia Hickman updated this Competition Entry. - 2847 days ago

Robin Patricia Hickman updated this Competition Entry. - 2848 days ago

Robin Patricia Hickman submitted this idea. - 2848 days ago