The Missing Slate, Interview with My World Project Founder Karen Hunt
“For me, this is a way of life. It isn’t a “cause,” it isn’t a “movement.” I can’t put some spin on it. There aren’t any buzz words. It is how I choose to live, and I really can’t help it. It is so much a part of who I am.”
Honored to have this interview, by Constance A. Dunn, published in The Missing Slate, an international arts and literary magazine. The interview tells about My World Project and the backstory leading up to it. Here is a brief excerpt from the backstory…
“I went on a personal quest…I met a woman named Alma Woods, who was responsible for single-handedly getting the Watts Library built. And to illustrate the politics, they didn’t want to name the library after her, they wanted to name it after some big-wig politician and there was a huge outcry and they had no choice but to buckle under public pressure and name the library after her. She was a simple lady, lived in a simple house in Watts and I would go and visit her and “sit at her feet,” as it were, she was a real guru, she taught me so much! She would take me around her neighborhood and I saw Watts through her eyes. If there were kids loitering outside the liquor store she would reprimand them and they would hang their heads in guilt and listen to her. She was respected. She was fearless. I grew to love her. She encouraged me to follow my heart and not be afraid of where it led me. It was after that that I went into Central Juvenile Hall and talked to the principal, Dr. Arthur McCoy, an older version of the nutty professor and the most amazing human being, and he let me start teaching there, along with the amazing teacher in the girls’ school, Cheryl Neely.
Like a beautiful, magical web, one person has led to another in my life. Not big celebrities, or what you would call “movers and shakers,” but the salt of the earth people. The ones who really have the power because they don’t care about it. They are the ones who truly balance the good against the evil. The ones we never hear about. I know I use the word amazing a lot, but really, there is no better word for all these people.
2 thoughts on “Interview about MY WORLD PROJECT”
I don’t know if you remember me but I found out about your writings
via Maureen McDermott, (as I reached out to her a few years ago
after the initiative to abolish the death penalty did not get passed,
and she asked me to send articles that were written about her).
Since that time I have learned about hundreds of innocent men
and women on death row like Maureen- many of whom have already
been executed. I know in my heart that she is innocent, but I can’t
help but wonder after writing about her- how can you not fight for
her to get released from prison- you wrote about all the injustice
that was done to her- does it weigh on your heart as it does on mine?
Of course I remember you. It’s nice to hear from you again. I do my best with the resources that I have, and that’s what I have done for Maureen. I wrote what I did from my heart. It was part of a bigger story, something I was asked to do by Casey Cohen before his death and I made a promise that I would and I kept that promise. There are some great organizations trying to help those on death row. There are so many terrible injustices. If you know in your heart she is innocent, then I can only assume you are doing all you can to help her, which is wonderful. I would be interested to hear about that. Perhaps you could write something about it. I write about many different subjects and I hope that I plant some seeds for change. I suppose that people could complain that I don’t do enough for the kids in the My World Project–the list could be endless of causes I don’t do enough for and everywhere I go there are people needing help, more help than I can ever offer. I devoted many years of my life to building InsideOUT Writers, an organization that has helped thousands of incarcerated youth. I am no longer involved with that organization, but that doesn’t discount all I did to start it and nurture it for so many years. I’ve kept in touch with some of my former students, but not all of them. Again, I can only do so much. ONe of them, Silvia Sanchez, is finally getting out of prison after twenty years. It was a long road but she made it. There are many people who I am sure did more for her, in a practical sense, then I could, but that doesn’t discount our friendship all these years. I am only one person. I am also a single mother with my own life challenges. I live a simple life, as I said in the this interview–I mean, really simple, trust me. I also must earn a living like other people and I can’t devote endless hours to so many causes that I do no good in the end for anyone. I hope you will understand this. I am one person, doing my best in this world, just like you.