she inspires continues …

Native Portrait Project 1

I’ve always wanted to continue the She Inspires project beyond 365.  I realized recently that in a way I do: my work as a freelance photographer and documentary producer has given me the opportunity to travel around the world, mostly photographing women and documenting the work of social justice organizations that advocate on behalf of women.  I’ve worked with World Pulse, YWCA, Sisters Empowering Sisters, and Video/Action, with whom I’ve recently completed a series of documentaries entitled, “A Circle of Healing for Native Children Endangered by Drugs.”  This is a photo from that series taken in Bethel, Alaska:

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I also generate as much of my own work as possible through the help of grants.  Just before my son was born I received a project grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) to create a collection of images that features emerging leaders in the Native American community of Portland.  However, many of the people I photographed just happen to be Native Americans who are becoming leaders in the greater Portland community.  The photograph (top) is of Roberta Ortiz and her son riding a bus in Portland.  Roberta is an advocate for breastfeeding mothers.

The photo, along with my own experiences breastfeeding my son, helped inspire my next project, which I promised myself I wouldn’t start until I finished the She Inspires 365 book.  It’s tentatively titled: “The 50 Best Places to Breastfeed in Portland”.  It will feature images similar to this one: everyday women breastfeeding their children in public places.  The goal is normalize breastfeeding and create positive images to add to the controversial discussions surrounding breastfeeding.  I’m so excited for this project and to create these images!

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