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  • Rock Your Drop

    The Noah’s Arc Foundation and Joakim Noah recently launched the “Rock Your Drop” Movement. The Noah’s Arc Foundation, on which I am a board member, is a Charity organization created by my mother, Cecilia and brother, Joakim, which enables kids to find a stronger sense of self through the means of sports and arts therapy. It provides diverse opportunities for kids to become more aware and conscious of their ability to make a positive impact on themselves and their community. Having worked hands on with the development of the foundation and having seen the program in action, I could not be more proud of the accomplishments that we have achieved over the years.

    Over twenty years ago, my mother, a sculptor, created a marble piece in the shape of a tear drop called “The Drop of Consciousness.” Years later, our foundation, wanting to work to raise awareness on the astounding rates of violence in the city of Chicago, decided to scale down the sculpture and use it as an emblem for a non-violent movement. Having the shape of a scarred teardrop, it symbolizes the pain, strength, and endurance of those who have been affected by violence.

     One important tenet of the movement is that the violence affected the streets of the US is not an inner-city problem, it is a problem which affects and concerns us all. By wearing your drop, you make a pledge to help end violence, to take responsibility for positive change, and you commit yourself to spreading the message.

    I find it important to spread this message. The drop of consciousness is more than just a piece of jewelry. It holds a message for peace, it is an emblem for positive change, awareness and consciousness.

    For more information on the drop of consciousness movement, please check: www.rockyourdrop.com

     

    Joakim Noah

     

    Cecilia Rodhe creating the original Drop of Consciousness

     

     

    Me, rocking my drop

     

     

    Mom & Bro

     

     

    Derrick Rose

     

     

    Muriel Hurtado & Rick Rubin

     

     

    Mikey & I Discussing the Drop Of Consciousness on Bulls TV

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  • Adornment

    From a very young age jewelry and the beauty of adornment have fascinated me. It is my belief that jewelry is an important aspect of our cultural differences and a celebration of our diversity and individuality. I think our differences accentuate our unique personal magic. In this individual power we can rejoice in our own special story that we honor through living out our lives and being ourselves.

    In my early teenage years, I would wear layer upon layer of jewels. Each piece of jewelry that I wore had a story; it was either given to me by someone special, was picked up somewhere on a significant and memorable day, or had a story or an anecdote attached to it. I felt like these instances, those moments in time, and the personal encounters attached to each and every piece were part of who I was, and continue to make me who I am today.

    When I was fifteen years old, I traveled to Kenya to visit my mothers jewelry designer friend, Caroline. I remember visiting a Maasai school, and feeling uncomfortable about the amount of jewelry I was wearing. Even though I never had an affinity for expensive jewelry, I began to remove them, wanting to eliminate the invisible barrier of what I thought was rich and poor. But a man there quickly stopped me, saying, “No! This is your culture, your jewelry is your culture, they have their culture and you have yours!” I remember this experience having a profound effect on me.

    Being of multicultural descent, I realized early on that I somehow needed to create my own identity and culture, and I believe this goes for adornment as well. Each piece of jewelry that I chose to wear had a story, and each story makes me who I am. It is my culture 

    I wanted my first blog post to be a celebration of the diversity and beauty of adornment.

    From the colorful beadwork of the Maasai of Kenya, the deep ocean blue Lapiz Lazuli stonework of Afghanistan, the regal beauty of Indian marriage traditional jewelry, to the ceremonial feather-work headpieces worn in Papua New Guinea, the diversity within adornment is endless. The way humans have ornamented themselves throughout history is a testament to the abundance and beauty of human diversity.

     

    Maydo / Mursi girl from mago national park / omo valley. Mario Gerth

     

    Black and White | Mitchell Kanashkevich Photography

    Africa | "Veiled Orma Woman" Kenya | ©Mirella Ricciardi, 1969

    Africa | "Omo: Untitled 45" From the collection 'Omo: Expressions of a People" Ethiopia | ©Drew Doggett

     

    Africa | Suri girl. Omo Valley, Ethiopia | ©Fabio Marcato

     

    Africa | 'Mynga' from the Mumuhuila tribe of Angola. | ©John Kenny

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