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p“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” Bob Kerrey (1943)

Recently I watched a video about photographer, Richard Renaldi  and his project Touching Strangers.  Basically he pulled people (strangers) off the streets of New York City and paired them up with unlikely “friends” so that he could photograph them as if they had been dear friends or loved ones.  In the end his photographic subjects were able to really see strangers as people not just a black man or an old lady or a bum or a yuppie…you get the point. He helped to break down barriers, no labels–just people. This project affected me so much that I thought I would love to do something like that here in San Francisco.

My version of Richard’s project includes little cards with words of encouragement and kindness to share with strangers–we’re gonna make it easy for you to share tenderness in the Tenderloin :-).  I wanted to add this element because of the many times I have been unable to utter words that I wish I had said. Sometimes, I found it so hard to say a simple Hello. Most times it was easier to look away from the complete stranger.

Join us in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District where Shannon and I will take pictures of strangers as they share kind words on Saturday November 9th from 12pm to 4pm on Ellis street between Hyde and Leavenworth. The street will be closed for the event. Music, art, photography and pizza! We hope to see you there!

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