May 1, 2010
I was listening to an interview on NPR recently with Nicholas Kristof, an international correspondent who wrote the book, Half the Sky, with his wife, Cheryl Wu Dunn.
He mentioned that journalists usually focus on what’s wrong.
That one phrase caught my attention: focus on what’s wrong. Why not focus on what’s right, I thought?
As a photographer, I understand the concept. I am a full-frame shooter. Everything that’s in the frame is what I want in the frame. Each element contributes to the composition, the content, the emotion. Focus on what’s right.
My work with Isis Initiative, Inc. comes from a similar point of view. I grew weary and soul sick of focusing on dying children, rotting corpses and the devastation and brutality of war. I decided to make a difference helping women overseas gain access to education. Focus on what’s right.
The title of the book, Half the Sky, comes from a Chinese proverb that says that women hold up half the sky. Jody Williams, the Nobel laureate, recently said she thinks women hold up way more than half.
I agree. I think empowering women is one way to make an enormous difference for the health and welfare of our planet and the people who live on her.
And Isis Initiative, Inc. is my way to focus on what’s right.
April 11, 2010
Beth Rietveld is the director of the Women’s Center at Oregon State University. In the past, she’s admired my photographs and asked to exhibit them next fall. In February 2009, she attended our Mardi Gras fundraiser.
Recently, she purchased 100 of our notecards to use for thank-you notes for the center.
With that purchase, she made a donation to support our work; and, each time she sends a note, she helps share our message and our work.
We are proud and appreciative of the support. Thank you, Beth.
November 14, 2009
It’s stated with the upsweep intonation of a question.
“What are you doing back at the GT?
I’m sitting in Francesco’s gelato cafe in downtown Corvallis. I sometimes sit in a comfy chair by the window in the evenings and write my blog entry, taking advantage of their free wi-fi and the lively atmosphere.
I look up and toward the direction of the voice.
Karl Maasdam. With his wife and two lovely daughters.
I have answers. None are easy. Or short. None that can quickly respond to a man with his family waiting by the door to exit.
“My non-profit,” I say.
Karl worked at the Gazette-Times as a staff photographer after I left a position vacant when I went to graduate school. He eventually left the newspaper to start his own successful photography business in town.
I had asked myself the same question before I accepted the job. Why return? There were many reasons not to return.
Yet, I wanted to write again and I wanted a steady income stream–to help nourish and support the growth of Isis Initiative, Inc. For two years, Isis Initiative has been my passion and my focus–on my time. I made those volunteer hours work by working independently–and sporadically.
I wrote freelance articles. I received a Writer-in-Residence appointment from Fishtrap. Inc. last spring. I taught high school journalism and photography in Condon and Fossil, Oregon. I did public relations and media consulting.
I had freedom–time to focus on my health and my nonprofit. I loved those years of liberty–and I struggled in them.
I chose a time of solitude and healing.
Now I’ve chosen to use my time and talent in service to my local community while I build a nonprofit that serves women worldwide.
I get paid to write. I have the privilege and sacred trust of listening to people’s stories and sharing them with others.
And, I have a stable income that grounds me as I grow the nonprofit. (It would be great if President and First Lady Obama would respond to my letters and donate some of the Nobel Peace Prize award money to Isis Initiative.)
I’m working locally and making a difference globally.
I put my cameras down. I didn’t want to carry them anymore–nor carry the burden of the events and images I’ve photographed over the past two decades covering breaking news and war.
I photograph now when I write. I see details and capture them–write them down. I arrange vignettes of a story as if I were moving slides on a light table to prepare a slide show.
I am still a visual storyteller. And I dig it.
July 31, 2009
Bring Peace Not Pain
Women and War: The Unseen Cost of Conflict
Thursday August 6, 2009 • 7 p.m.
Farmaesthetics Apothecary •144 Bellevue Ave., Newport RI
Please join us for a visual and emotional look at the legacy of war through the eyes and words of Cheryl Hatch
Cheryl is a photojournalist who has spent much of her career in the Middle East and Africa during times of conflict. Through a slideshow of her work we will see an intimate look at many of the faces of war’s collateral damage.
This event is open to the public.
There is no charge but seating is limited so please call to reserve your place. Phone: 401.835.1736
Bring Peace Not Pain • 123 Bellevue Avenue • Newport RI 02840
Bring Peace Not Pain is devoted to helping promote peace, beginning with inner peace, extending to relationships both personal and global.
April 10, 2009
Our note cards are now for sale in two local venues.
Sandy at Grass Roots Bookstore in Corvallis, Oregon agreed to carry the cards on consignment. She’ll start with the set of six, although she thinks they might sell better as individual cards.
Sandy owns the fabulous independent bookstore with her husband, Jack; and they’ve been serving the community with greats books and music since 1971. They go out of their way to support local artists and authors…and now a local nonprofit. (They also carry my brother J’s latest CD: The Birmingham Sessions by the J Hatch Trio.) Thank you, Jack and Sandy.
Mark, owner of the Country Store in Blodgett, Oregon, has the cards for sale as well. The next time you’re heading to or from the coast on Highway 20, take a break at this local classic. Thank you, Mark.
The set of six retails for $10. A real value. Please stop by and purchase a set. You’ll support great local businesses and a grassroots nonprofit. And when you send the cards, you’ll be helping us raise awareness.
We also offer the note cards as a thank-you give to anyone who donates $50 or more to Isis Initiative, Inc. If you’d like to learn more about Isis Initiative and how to support our work, please visit our Web site at isisinitiative.org. We have already happily sent the cards to a number of our early donors.