12 articles Articles posted in Change

The Theology of Enough

I have a hard time understanding how people who live with so much, as we do, think that they can get by without judgment when people live like this (at a Guatemala city dump). Some people choose poverty. But there are people right here next to us that have not chosen this. And if we turn our backs on them, we are turning our backs on Christ. -Rich Mullins

I want to talk about something that has been burning in my heart for a long time now. First let me give you some back story – For years I had the false mindset that the direct result of faith in God was prosperity, safety and comfort.

Then my husband went to Kenya, and God completely shattered that way of thinking. Kent saw people who had nothing, yet their faith in God was so rich, so beautiful, so sufficient – it wasn’t just something that fit neatly into their lives – Christ was EVERYTHING to them. Now I can see how spiritually poor I was compared to these amazing Christ followers. I had unknowingly made idols out of my comfort, my safety and my possessions.

So in the last 4 years, we have slowly down-sized our house size by 75%. We have pared down our possessions by giving things away. We live a bootstrapped life – we rarely go out to eat, we don’t go see movies or shows, don’t go on vacations, you get the point. All this to say, downsizing was something necessary for us to do so we could release our grip on self-gratification and material things. I don’t say this so you can pat us on the back, I don’t even share it with the hope that you will do the same. I simply invite you to dream with me for a moment.

Poverty was not created by God, but by you and me – because we have not learned to love our neighbor as ourselves. -Shane Claiborne

What if all who profess Christ and believe the Bible would actually do what it said? God is very clear about taking care of the poor, the widow and the orphan. God’s commands to Israel were so extensive that they were designed to eradicate poverty. (Deut. 15:4) God was then furious over Israel’s failure to care for the poor and the oppressed. (Isa. 58:1-3, 5-10)

In the book, The Irresistible Revolution, Shane Claiborne says, “We need neither the gospel of prosperity, nor the poverty gospel, but the gospel of abundance rooted in a theology of enough.” This is taken from Exodus where God commanded the Israelites to only gather what they could eat, and no more (Exo. 16:16) and of course from the Lord’s prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. -Gandhi

In the early days of Christianity, when there was not enough food for everyone to eat, the whole community fasted until all could come to the table together. This kind of boggles my mind. We are so far from this model of doing life with our brothers and sisters in our self-serving culture.

“Does God’s dream look like Wall Street?” If everyone lived the American dream, we’d need four more planets. Can the world really afford the patterns that we’re living in? -Shane Claiborne

The theology of enough. It is something that my husband and I are still working on – we still blow money on crap that we don’t necessarily need. But the hope is that the grip will loosen more and more.

God’s love for you and God’s love for the larger world in need cannot be separated. God’s longing to see you liberated for life that really is life can’t be neatly pulled apart from God’s longing to see the poor liberated for life that really is life. My friend Nate, who works with Compassion International, sees this pretty clearly. Nate will be the first one to tell you, “Compassion’s work, releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name, is releasing me from wealth in Jesus’ name.” If your life is anything like mine, God longs to set you free from addiction to pleasure, appearances, busyness, consumption, envy, greed and self-absorption.  -Margot Starbuck

What are your thoughts, friends? Do you struggle in this area?

A New Adventure

Thought I’d let you in on some personal news – we are moving. To a neighborhood referred by our friends as the “Shartel neighborhood”, known in other circles as “The Jungle.” Blocks away from the OKC’s downtown homeless shelter, the Shartel neighborhood is home to crackpots, prostitutes and drug dealers. It’s what author Shane Claiborne would call, “an abandoned place of empire” – neglected by the city and forgotten.

I’ve had this up on my chalkboard wall for some time now. And I imagine if Jesus were to walk in my living room and tell me to come follow him, he would most likely take me to a place like the one I just described. But I’m getting ahead of myself – here is how it all went down.

I can only explain it as a call. One that I wasn’t expecting nor did I really welcome at the time. For a few years I have been challenged in my thinking of what it means to be a Christian. And I have a confession. I’ve grown pretty tired of mainstream American, evangelical Christianity. Maybe it’s how safe and boring we are. Maybe it’s because we don’t really live out the Gospel. Maybe it’s just because we don’t really know Jesus, or maybe it’s because we don’t want to give up anything to do what He says.

If we read the Bible, we see that He was kind of a wild man – he took risks, he was a friend of sinners, he met the needs of the poor and oppressed, he rebuked religious people, he told stories, he was radical. And, in the words of Rich Mullins, “I think when we identify with Christ, when we take on the name of Christ, when we become a Christian, I think that means that our lives should be infused with the character of Christ. And the character of Christ is that of a wildly, ridiculously generous and compassionate Man.”

The moment I knew we were supposed to move in the little, rundown, ugly 750 sq. foot house, I immediately began a dialogue in my head of all the reasons why we couldn’t, shouldn’t, and why I just plain didn’t want to. I’d grown comfortable in our beautiful mid-town home and didn’t have any intention of leaving. I didn’t share any of this with my husband until a week later.

Well, I couldn’t shake it, so I let the cat out of the bag and told him what I was feeling. Let’s just say about 36 hours later he was telling me, yes, we should do it. I began to regret sharing it and proceeded to have about 24 hours of complete crazy talk in my head – questioning the very basis of my faith, wondering what in the world we were getting ourselves into, knowing our friends, and quite possibly our family might think we are insane. I felt depressed and completely wanted to shoo the whole idea off a cliff and forget the whole thing ever happened. I prayed. I wrestled with God in my prayers. I asked for confirmation. Anything. And after I’d said all I could, I felt that we should just simply, come.

That’s all I needed. It reminded me of a verse and some words that resonated with me months ago –

Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach He endured. Hebrews 13:13

Jesus is not standing back saying, “Go there.” He’s saying, I’m out here! You’re in there where it’s so comfortable. It’s so safe inside the church, inside your house. I’m out here! Come to me.  -John Piper

I could cry writing this, because now I’m so eager to just sell all my stuff and go. I know it will only be a step on a long journey. I know we will make mistakes. I know we are going into this naive and unprepared. But like Abraham, he had faith in God that when He called him into “a land he knew not,” he would provide.

We won’t be doing this alone. For at least a year I’ve been hungry for that biblical community that is mentioned in Acts 2 and 4. I’ve never truly experienced it before in my decades in the church. God has led us to a community of people – at least 50 of them – young families, singles, entrepreneurs, business people – people that are crazy enough to live like Jesus. With the same goals and passions – living in biblical community, loving and building relationships with people, seeking after peace in the city, restoring the broken places, creating beauty, pointing people to the true Rescuer.

But to be honest, I’m simply going to meet Jesus. Because the call is to come, and I know I will find Him there. And most likely I will meet Him in disguises, much like I’ve found Him in the homeless that I’ve encountered here in mid-town.

Bottom line, I can’t continue life the way I have been for the last 20 years. Because the life I imagine worthwhile, is the one where I give it away. And I don’t think it’s any accident that this is all coming about before my 30th birthday. It feels like a new time. New faith, new adventure, and a new calling.

I leave you with some quotes that have fueled my quest and journey for the last year, and I hope that maybe, just maybe you might also hear the call to “come.”

My desire and prayer for you is that your life have a radical flavor. A risk-taking flavor. A gutsy, counter-cultural, flavor to it that makes the average, prosperous, Americans in your church feel uncomfortable. A pervasive summons to something more and something hazardous and something wonderful. A saltiness and brightness, something like the life of Jesus.
– John Piper

Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you’ve done it to me. And this is what I’ve come to think. That if I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my Savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor. This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they’re just wrong. They’re not bad, they’re just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken.
– Rich Mullins

We are called by Jesus to give up everything. His call is to come. When Jesus calls us to take up our cross, He is doing much more than calling us to endure the daily, circumstantial troubles of life. It is a call to radical faith. Jesus is calling us to be willing to suffer anything and forsake everything for the sake of the Gospel. To consider everything a loss for his sake.
– Francis Chan

It’s about learning to live the kingdom and to create pathways for others to experience it with you. Throughout the scriptures, we see God calling his followers to live a life of “sentness.” Stability, social comfort, relational control, safety, success, respect, or clarity were not expected. Outcome didn’t matter: faithfulness did.
(from the book, The Tangible Kingdom)

Being a Christian is about choosing Jesus and deciding to do something incredibly daring with your life. // Rather than waiting around for God’s special plan for your life, you should just go find where God is at work and join in. // Jesus is not seeking distant acts of charity, but concrete acts of love. // While the ghettos have their share of violence and crime, the suburbs are the home of more subtle demonic forces – numbness, complacency, comfort – that can eat away at our souls. // It is risky but we are people of faith, believing that giving is more contagious than hoarding, that love can cover hatred, light can overcome darkness, grass can pierce concrete. This is precisely what we commit our lives to. // He dares and woos us to come and follow, take up our cross, to lose your life to find it.
– Shane Claiborne

Calcuttas are everywhere if we only have eyes to see. Find your Calcutta.
– Mother Teresa

Cruelty, devastation, death – this is what happens when God’s compassion and love leave a place. It is when people do not allow God to show up through them, that the world collapses in on itself.
– Don Miller

I’ve realised, that it’s not at all, and never was, about how much you have. Because in actual fact it means nothing at all. Nothing, nothing, nothing at all. It doesn’t add to your peace or your joy or your love. And that’s all that matters. To live selflessly, to live for another is not only so fulfilling but just so FUN.
– Unknown

Please, Steal My Ideas

No, I’m serious. I’m not being sarcastic or facetious. I love seeing my ideas used in other places. I love it when people build off them and create their own beautiful things. Let me explain further.

I believe art and creativity should be:

The topic of being generous with art has been on my mind a lot lately. I believe anything good is worth giving away – that includes ideas, art, beauty, design – I believe it should be shared. I’m tired of stingy artists. I’m tired of artists laying claim on a certain idea they had, and possessing it in such a way that no one feels like they can reproduce it. I’m tired of the inconsistencies. We steal ideas from others and boast about it, but then get mad if someone does it to us.

A creator is neither a slave nor a master, he is one who gives, and gives abundantly. -Berdyaev (via my brother, Jason)

C’mon, be honest and admit it. You’ve copied someone else at some point in time. I know I have. As a graphic designer just starting out, I copied what other people were doing. It made my own skills better and helped me discover my own voice as an artist. The point is not to stay there. It’s to grow and begin to discover your own originality and uniqueness. My friend, Promise, has a great post about that.

It is a shame when people intentionally steal other people’s work down to the very detail in order to make a profit. There are many reasons this is wrong, and they are obvious so I won’t go into them all.

If you steal an idea from somewhere else, you should definitely NOT try and pass it as your own original idea. Credit MUST be given. This keeps you honest, and it keeps the person you are stealing from from potentially being hurt emotionally or economically. Respecting other artists is key and actually keeps you from harmful stealing.

“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is nonexistent.”—Jim Jarmusch

You should remain humble in any type of art that you produce. Creativity flows through us, we are not the Author of it. We are merely the vessels to get it out there – to make something from nothing is god-like. We are like God in that way, and that is humbling. If I’ve learned something about my creativity this year, it’s that I can’t take credit for it. I know it comes from a higher Source.

“It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.”— Jean-Luc Godard

I loved this article I came across recently, How to Steal Like an Artist. In it, Austin says, “You are, in fact, a mashup of what you choose to let into your life. You are the sum of your influences. The German writer Goethe said, “We are shaped and fashioned by what we love.” The artist is a collector. They only collect things that they really love.”

“Every idea is a juxtaposition. That’s it. A juxtaposition of existing concepts.”— Steven Grant

We should be inspired by other artists. Producing derivative works and building off existing art is what makes art grow.

Nothing is original anyway. Twyla Tharp says, “Baby, it’s all been done before.” There have been several instances I’ve found this to be true in my own creating.

A year ago I had an idea to make something. I was truly impressing myself with my original idea. Then a few weeks later I found a friend that had posted about the exact same idea. Boy, did I ever feel silly. That’s when I truly realized – People CAN have the same ideas. It’s dangerous to see someone’s work and automatically assume they’ve copied.

It seems like artists all over are sort of paranoid about unintentional piracy of another artists work. Even I will go Google something and make sure no one has done it before so I won’t be accused of copying. This is a real shackle to the creative community. A young Helen Keller was accused in 1892 of plagiarizing Margaret T. Canby’s story The Frost Fairies in her short story The Frost King. She was brought before a tribunal, where she was acquitted by a single vote. She said she was worried she may have read The Frost Fairies and forgotten it, “remained paranoid about plagiarism ever after” and said that this led her to write an autobiography: the one thing she knew must be original. (source)

The art and creative community should be just that, a community. A brotherhood, or sisterhood. As my friend has said, our claws shouldn’t come out if someone else is using our idea.

So please, steal my ideas. Steal my artwork and designs. Copy my stuff. Copy my blog layout. Steal my projects, make them yours. I really don’t mind. I hope it builds you as an artist to find your own original ideas and builds the creative community towards a more giving, sharing place.

{ Except where otherwise noted, all quotes via Olivia Verdugo }

My Mother’s Day Gift

I hope you had a wonderful mother’s day weekend. I enjoyed mine thoroughly. My sweet husband granted my one and only mother’s day wish – a root beer float, homemade of course so I can enjoy seconds. My little Abe also gave me a great gift…he took his first steps!

But, while I enjoyed my kids greatly, the highlight of my weekend was spending time with a handful of women through an outreach with Spero Project – a local ministry that helps many people in my community. I blogged about a few weeks ago about a Craft Night that I wanted to organize to make gifts for the mother’s in Spero’s international refugee program. So last week, a group of girls gathered together for one evening at Cafe Evoke, fabric and glue guns flying through the air as we made gifts for precious women we had never met.

It was a fun night with several friends, including Mandy Steward of Messy Canvas (who I interviewed last year), Kasie, a new friend and artist, and Kelly Beall of Design Crush. I was super excited to meet Kelly since I made her acquaintance years ago in the blog world, and she was so fun AND funny, and totally excited about the cause.

I decided on a pretty simple fabric flower with a button in the middle. Very easy to make, following this tutorial, but instead of sewing everything together, we took the easy route and hot glued em all. I think they turned out beautifully, the girls did such a great job.

My little family and 4 others arrived to be a part of the event. Beforehand, I learned that the majority of the refugees in the program are from Burma, Iraq and Africa. They’ve fled their homes due to well-founded fears of persecution for their race, political opinions or religion. For most refugees, the only hope for a life free of persecution is resettlement in another country. So these families have been placed here by Catholic Charities to begin a new life in the United States. Spero helps in many ways by providing for basic needs, teaching English classes, job skills, and giving them lots of social interaction and help adjusting to a new way of life.

The event was simple and beautiful. We enjoyed brunch together and letting them pick out their gifts. Most of them had never celebrated a Mother’s Day before, so the idea of having an entire day to honor their role was a very new concept.

Looking at these brave women, you would never guess the hardships or treacherous situations they’ve had to endure. They were nurturing, happy and strong. One woman in particular I got to talk to was from war-torn Sudan. She’s been here in the U.S. for 6 years with her husband and three children. I asked her if it’s gotten any easier. She said, yes it had gotten easier, that she’d finally learned English well in order to communicate, but it’s still very hard. I could see it in her eyes, even through the smile she warmly shared. It didn’t take me long to realize these women probably had more of a gift to offer to me – I realized that the gift was perspective. Perspective, and an opportunity to grow and learn.

So thank you ladies, for the gift you gave me. Thank you for being inspiring and strong. Thank you for letting us be a part of your very first Mother’s Day.

Craft Night for Spero Project

I’m loving reading all your comments and thoughts on The Trouble With Beauty. Thank you for taking the time to share with me. I know it will be a topic I will touch on again in the future.

There is an awesome organization here in Oklahoma City called the Spero Project. (Spero is latin for hope. Cool right?) I’ve been mulling around in my mind for a long time how I can use what I’m good at to help others. So I finally decided to start somewhere…and organize a craft night to create beautiful Mother’s Day gifts to give to the international refugees that Spero helps.

If you are in the OKC area and want to be involved, please email me at info at evie-s.com or you can join up on the facebook event page. I’d love you to be a part! You don’t have to be a superstar crafter, just be able to wield scissors and a glue gun.

The Trouble with Beauty

Images above all from my pinterest

I have somewhat of an addiction. The addiction is to beauty, in all it’s forms. Art, photography, crafts, ideas, typography, design, and even fashion. The invention of pinterest only feeds the content beast. It’s easy to be addicted because beautiful things that people create are all around us. Besides pinterest, there is flickr, twitter, blogs, magazines and more all with the focus of seeking and finding beauty and inspiration.

The trouble with all this beauty is it can breed discontentment. Maybe discontentment with our own skill sets. Or discontentment with what we have or don’t have. It also creates an insatiable appetite for more. Maybe I’m weird and I’m the only one like this. Or maybe not. But this is something I’m constantly having to keep in check.

My worldview was profoundly changed one year ago when my husband went to Kenya, and I saw these amazing people who had so little, yet found beauty and meaning despite their ugly surroundings. I immediately took a few phrases out of my vocabulary:

If you think about it, the context in which those phrases are heard and said in our culture seem pretty silly when you compare them to the true needs of others.

My blog also took a different turn. I stopped blogging about things with a consumeristic approach and started working on more of my own creative projects. That has helped immensely with my own personal creativity, and has helped me stay balanced.

I do believe you should have inputs. As Twyla Tharp, author of The Creative Habit says, “Everything is usable. Everything is relevant.” Every artist should feed into themselves somehow. But I have personally found I need to set limits on inspiration I look for via the internet. Otherwise, it inhibits my own creativity and it just makes me feel empty instead of full. These days I’d much rather go on a walk or visit a beautiful place or even explore an old run down building.

I wonder if we could just shift our mindset to see things online and not think thoughts like, “I wish I had thought of that” or “I’ve got to have that” or “I need that.” I wonder if we could see beauty and just appreciate it. To appreciate the talent of the artist. To admire and respect. To let it feed into us as artists and let it change us.

For discussion: What makes you seek out beauty and inspiration? Do you feel fulfilled by it, or does it leave you wanting more? Does it inspire you to create? Does beauty exist simply for our enjoyment? Or consumption to regurgitate it out? Or does it exist to inspire and motivate to action? To create change? To give people hope? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Auction for Japan

I’m auctioning off this beautiful scarf I made to the ongoing relief efforts in Japan. To bid, leave your bid amount in the comment section below. NOTE: It must be higher than the last bid that was made. If you get outbid, simply leave a comment with a higher bid. Make sense? If you have any questions, you can email me (info at evie-s.com) that way the comments won’t get muddied up with questions.

The scarf is made up of 100% peruvian wool. The yarn alone is worth $26 if you purchased it alone. It’s big and bulky and so soft.

The auction ends March 29th. The highest bidder gets the scarf and the money goes to World Vision through A Beautiful Idea. OK, start bidding!

Can Art Change the World?

I happened upon this TED talk on hulu by artist, JR.  Intrigued by the title, “Use Art to Turn the World Inside Out,” I watched the short video and was so utterly inspired by it I just had to share. JR is an artist that got his start writing his name everywhere in the cities of Paris as a graffiti artist. After finding a camera in the Paris subway, he started taking portraits of people with interesting stories and pasting them on walls, buildings, roofs and just about everywhere else. In the talk he poses the question, “Could art change the world?”

In 2007, he did a project called Face 2 Face, the biggest illegal art exhibition ever. JR posted huge portraits of Israelis and Palestinians face to face in eight Palestinian and Israeli cities, and on the both sides of the Security fence / Separation wall. The experts said it would be impossible. Still, he did it. And people realized in the midst of their conflict, that these people were not so different.

In 2008, he embarked on a long international trip for women, a project in which he underlines the dignity of women who are often the targets of conflicts called, Women Are Heroes. The men in the community would pay tribute to the women in their society by posting their photos on houses.

This is a picture of the Women are Heroes project in Kibera, Kenya installed in February 2009.

When you look at Kibera now, they look back. (Photo from Google Earth)

I particularly love this idea that they created in India. Instead of pasting a photo, they just made the art white and sticky. It looks like just a blank white wall until…

dust from a crowded market blows in the air, or in the case of the photo above, the Holi festival of colors is celebrated, then the art is revealed.

JR remains anonymous  for the most part and doesn’t explain his portraits in detail – he leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter. This is what JR is working on…raising questions.

Behind each image is a story. JR is essentially a storyteller. The portraits in and of themselves aren’t the point, but it’s what you do with the images and the statement it makes when it’s pasted. In the talk, JR says,

“In some way art can change the world. Art is not supposed to change the world, to change practical things. But to change the perceptions. Art can change the way we see the world. Art can create energy. Actually, the fact that art cannot change things makes it a neutral place for exchanges and discussions, and then enables you to change the world. What we see changes who we are.”

So what do you think? Can art change the world? I think it can. And I’m passionate about finding ways to do it.

Intrigued by the title, “Use Art to Turn the World Inside Out.”

Mother Teresa vs. Martha Stewart

Thanks to Miss B. for the lovely wreath graphic download (see above)
What a contrast in photos: one holding a precious human being and one holding a chicken. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

These are two of my heroes since my early teens, both great women for completely opposite reasons. My husband says I’m a cross between them both, and while flattering, personally I think I only possess a few of their qualities in a much smaller measure. Here is what I love about Martha:

  • Ambitious
  • Professional
  • Does things very well
  • Loves beauty
  • Creative

And Mother Teresa:

  • Selfless
  • Pure motives
  • Completely committed to her call
  • Not about the 100’s, about the 1
  • Didn’t care about what the world had to offer

When I took the Clifton Strength’s Finder test a few years ago, my #1 strength was Empathy. What?! That’s what I thought. My top strength is feeling sorry for people? But, no. That’s sympathy. Empathy is by definition:

1. the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.
2. the imaginative ascribing to an object, as a natural object or work of art, feelings or attitudes present in oneself: By means of empathy, a great painting becomes a mirror of the self.

So I’m empathetic and creative. I have to think that this combination of qualities is for something. Somewhere at the intersection of art and heart lies my true passion. That’s why I started A Beautiful Idea last year. We raised over $900 together, with 58 participants. But I want more. The “Martha” side of me wants more. More artists to catch the vision of creating art with a purpose. More money raised to see suffering eased. Will you help me?

If you are an artist, and haven’t joined A Beautiful Idea, please consider it. This year I’m opening it up to any artist – photographers, writers, musicians. Everyone is invited. You also get to decide how much to give. It could be 10% of your profits, maybe 100% of one product.
If you helped last year, and would like to participate again, drop me a line in the comments below.
Thank you for reading this!

I’m Giving Away Free Ads on evie s.

I was told last week about a neat project that I want to involve my readers in – 25 leading letterpress printers each created 50 limited edition notebooks with Loop paper donated by Mohawk. They are being sold on a special storefront on Felt & Wire Shop. 100% of the proceeds benefit kids via School: By Design.

In thinking of ways I could support this project, other than just blogging about it, I decided to offer anyone that purchases one of these $15 notebooks a little ad on my blog for a whole month! It’s a great deal – not only do you get to support a great cause, but you get a beautifully crafted notebook, AND ad space on evie s. for a month.

RULES: Go to the Felt & Wire Shop and purchase a notebook. Then email me your receipt (info at evie-s.com) showing your purchase. Then after approval you may send me a non-animated graphic (gif, png or jpg) 125 x 70 pixels with the URL it will link to. I will then add it to my blog on the sidebar. This is on a first come, first serve basis so act quickly!

Limit one per person. **I reserve the right to reject any ads that I deem inappropriate or unfit for my blog.**

School: by Design is a youth mentoring initiative that asks high school students–in collaboration with their college or professional design mentors–to redesign their school. A $10,000 award will be granted to the high school with the most innovative project to implement their idea. The program was created to give youth in under-served communities a real world experience using design thinking to communicate their ideas, exhibit their potential and take action in their own lives. {via the school: by design website}