I was really impressed with Michael Franti’s Power to the Peaceful event. His take on how we can use the memory of 9/11 to be of greater service to the world was incredibly inspiring. He’s not just a top 40 artist. IMHO Michael Franti is an emerging black leader.  Only a true leader could create such a compelling vision. I hope they take PTTP to other cities next year. Here he is talking about the Power to the Peaceful Global Forum and Celebration this weekend in San Francisco where we listened and talked about helping women and girls, impacting climate change and solving the problem of global hunger.

He told a funny story about being invited to the White House recently to perform. He says his first thought was “what can I steal?” proving he is black. (wink) He ended up taking some toilet paper, so he says. He also mentioned being shown a window at the White House and looking up to be told that it was Malia’s room. There was a purple butterfly sticker in the window that she’d put up the day she got there and Franti said “it was so humanizing to me because the Obama kids are just like my kids — always putting stickers over everything!” I loved that the conference was kid-friendly and kids were allowed to ask questions of the experts just like everyone else. I hope the Obamas can continue keeping it real.

I learned a lot. Here’s one factoid: the good news on global hunger is that it’s a difficult problem but we ARE making progress. In our grandparents’ time, 50% of the world lived in extreme poverty. In our parents’ time, 30% and now it’s 20%. That’s still a billion people — too many and the most people than at any other time in history. Gotta keep steppin’ y’all.

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