Good Morning!!! I am so glad to finally be here. So let me tell you a bit about me and how I got here. I probably took the long way here, but now that I am here; OH MY! Why did it take so long?
Prior to being a paper crafter, I was a full time non-tenured professor at a Historically Black College in Nashville, TN. By training, I am an epidemiologist. As my dad would say, I count dead people for a living. I have degrees from Harvard, MIT, and Rutgers.
I have sat on CNN, Headline News and Tavis Smiley. I have sat on the board of the Boston Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Somerset Public Television, AIDS Walk Boston, AIDS Walk Philadelphia, ACT-Up Philadelphia, Philadelphia AIDS Task Force, The Children's Museum of Philadelphia to just name a few.
I have spoken at too many conferences to list about HIV/AIDS and people of color, HIV/AIDS and women, and technology and its uses in the classroom.
I have been to every continent. I have taught at the University of Nairobi and Kenyatta University in Nairobi Kenya. I have lived in Uganda and work for TASO (The AIDS Service Organization) in Kampala. I speak three languages other than English.
I was on the fast track to somewhere, but just can't remember where right now.
I have been arrested for participating in a needle exchange in Boston. I was also arrested in Washington, DC during the Regan Years for throwing red paint on a Senator because he was small minded and self-righteous. I have been a buddy to people who were dying when no one else wanted to hold or touch them, both babies and adults.
I have been blessed to see the most unnecessary human suffering and the worst in human kind. And even in the midst of all this, find someone who still has a smile and keeps the faith knowing hope is real and happiness is possible.
I have all kinds of crazy things stuck in my brain on file cards that will never get erased. Like the states in alphabetical order, the first four editions of Trivial Pursuit memorized. I do the Sunday NY Times crossword puzzle to completion every Sunday with a red pen (remnants of my childhood with my Grandmother and Uncle Alfred).
My brother has been on the cover of Food Magazine and worked in the finest restaurants in NY, Paris, London and Italy.
My dad just retired from Newsweek. My mom just recently retired as the Director of Recreation for the town that we lived in for over 35 years. My mom's sister is a retired Principal from the NY School System. She is an ordained Baptist Minister and has more degrees than I do.
Ok, now give me a second to climb down from my pedestal…