When I visited Christian Love Baptist Church in Irvington, N.J. on July 19 and heard Johnson speak, six years after her son's death, it wasn't a dramatization of events it was real life. A mother poured her heart out to a congregation, which understood her pain.
Sponsored by Arts for Amnesty and California Endowment, there are over 30 events over the 10 days -- discussions, music, stage, film, workshops. It was an ambitious undertaking that I hope folks will get to check out accidentally or purposely.
As my daughter and I cut and chopped apples and pureed pumpkin I got to pretend -- for a millisecond -- that my Currier and Ives, Norman Rockwell-esqe existence was true ... and that others get to share it, as well. But I know the truth.
Yes, we have survived the Great Recession and employment is up. But according to the Census Bureau, one-third of adults who live in poverty are working. They simply don't earn enough to support themselves and their families.