On November 5th, 2011, at a festive San Francisco Bay Area Million Connections Fun-Draising Brunch celebrating InterPlay Outreach, we presented our 2011 Spirit of InterPlay awards to filmmaker and activist Katrina Browne and St. Mary’s Center which serves low-income seniors in the East Bay. We honor those who are making a world of difference using creativity and body wise smarts for social change!
Katrina Browne, 1998 Bay Area Life Practice Program participant, brought InterPlay to Boston, co-taught a Life Practice Program group and offered workshops on racial dynamics at the First International InterPlay conference in Nashville. Katrina just moved to Washington DC and hopes to InterPlay there soon!
Katrina is Producer/Director of Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, a documentary about her slave-trading ancestors, the hidden history of New England’s complicity in slavery, and questions of repair and reconciliation today. She met film co-director Juanita Browne in an InterPlay-inspired multicultural Women’s Performance Group.
Traces of the Trade premiered at Sundance in 2008, aired on PBS to reach over 1.5 million Americans, was nominated for an Emmy, and contributed to the Episcopal Church’s vote to atone for its role in slavery. Today, the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery creates heart-opening dialogue on issues of white privilege and the legacies of slavery.
Her award certificate read, “For your exceptional contribution to the world through your potent, creatively inspiring, and open-hearted film Traces of the Trade and your commitment to spreading its truth through unflagging outreach, education and relationship-building.”
Saint Mary’s Center and InterPlay Oakland have been friends for years. InterPlayers have engaged their board, staff, and community at many events. St. Mary’s believes in the arts, friendship, and people-led social change causing one InterPlaying social worker to say, “This is the first agency I’ve been in that was also a community!”
Thanks to a County of Alameda Mental Health Innovation Grant, three InterPlay leaders, Phil Porter, Coke Nakamoto and Connors McConville and St. Mary’s staff are offering low-income seniors activities in the winter shelter program and other settings.
We acknowledge Carol Johnson, executive Director for her wise, open-hearted, people friendly leadership over these years. The certificate presented to St. Mary’s read, “For providing heart-felt services to low-income seniors, families and pre-schoolers in the East Bay and for fully embracing the arts as a part of their ‘whole person’ approach to addressing the needs of their communities.”
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