Next Boston speaker

Jenny & Anda French

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July 26, 8:30am • BU BUILD Lab • part of a series on End

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Hola CMBOS Friends!  Sophia Moon, here!  🙂  Welcome to #100DaysofCMBOS, which will coincide with #The100DayProject, a free global art project starting on Tuesday, April 3rd. This global event is in its fifth year, co-facilitated by Elle Luna and Lindsay Jean Thomson. Anyone can start a 100 Day project at any time, but there’s something magical about being a part of a global movement with people from all over the world committing to the same 100 days of doing a small creative action.

You can watch a Live Q&A Session with the global co-hosts to learn more about the project and how to select the right project for you.  The co-facilitators encourage smaller, local groups to come together and support each other in this project and I couldn’t contain my excitement at the thought of sharing this experience with our amazing community of creatives right here in Boston. So, let’s do this! Are you in?!?!

Here’s how you can get started:

 Sign up for the weekly newsletter h2 from Elle and Lindsay.

Follow the global facilitators @elleluna and @lindsayjeanthomson as well as and I’ll be our #100DaysofCMBOS facilitator, so feel free to follow/tag me in your projects as well @iamsophiamoon. I can’t wait to see what you do!

Choose your 100 Day action – You’ll do this action every day for 100 days, posting each instance of 100 on your Instagram account. Keep the action simple and manageable. For inspiration, browse #The100DayProject.

Announce your 100 Day Project – Tag your Instagram with #The100DayProject as well as #100DaysofCMBOS and add your own unique project hashtag (so that all of your posts will sit nicely together). Include both hashtags on every post!

Start April 3rd – Create and post every day until July 11th. It’s okay if you miss a day! Keep going. Reading this after April 3rd? Any day is a good day to start #The100DayProject!

We will plan fun and interesting ways to connect with fellow 100Day’ers in the CMBoston community so stay tuned. Get creative. Let’s have fun and support each other! Questions? Feel free to Email me.

Today is Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, a holiday originating from the Toltec people of Mexico. While it has become trendy (albeit problematic) to dress as a sugar skull for Halloween, there’s more to this holiday. It is traditionally about celebrating the dead. It also falls on the same day as All Souls Day in Catholicism. How has this cultural tradition influenced your designs? Check out this link for more inspiration. And the video for what the holiday means for teens currently in prison.

This month’s theme is #CMdeath  How does this theme apply to your design work?


We’ve been nominated for Bostinno’s 2016 50 on Fire, which recognizes the city’s innovators and disruptors. Now in its fifth year, the awards show will be hosted at the Moakley Courthouse on the night of Dec. 7th to celebrate the finalists and winners. Interested in attending? You can buy tickets here (use the promo code CreativeMornings for a 20% off).

Gautam Narula’s Guide to Activism

May’s speaker Gautaum Narula is the award-winning author of Remain Free, a memoir that documents his friendship with death row inmate Troy Davis. He has compiled a list of resources for education and action around the criminal justice system. 


  • Just Mercy by Brian Stevenson gives a great broad overview of the problems in our criminal justice system. ­­Stevenson is a lawyer and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit that provides legal representation prisoners who may have been wrongfully convicted, given unfair trials, or cannot afford legal representation. The book goes through a series of cases Stevenson worked on in the past three decades that highlight the kind of injustices (particularly against the poor and racial minorities) that continue to occur today. 
  • The first season of the Serial podcast follows the story of Adnan Syed, a high school student questionably convicted of murdering another student and sentenced to life in prison. Not only does it provide a personal look into a potentially wrongful conviction, it also highlights some important problems: the increased power of prosecutors via plea bargaining, the effects of poor legal representation, etc.
  • It would be remiss of me not to shamelessly promote my own book, Remain Free, which follows the Troy Davis case and discusses the death penalty, how race and socioeconomic status affect outcomes in the justice system, and the personal toll our justice system takes on the people and families involved. All the profits from sales will be donated to the Innocence Project (see below), and the book can be read for free online at
  • The Innocence Project is a non-profit that works to free wrongfully convicted individuals through DNA testing, and has information on their website about what causes wrongful convictions. They also discuss the policy and legislative work they do (in addition to providing legal representation) to prevent innocent people from being convicted in the first place. 
  • For those specifically interested in the death penalty, Amnesty International’s Abolish the Death Penalty campaign is a good starting point. This campaign transformed Troy Davis from an unknown death row inmate in Georgia to the most well-known death row inmate in history. 


  • Donate to the organizations mentioned above. 
  • Volunteer: Amnesty International is particularly good place to volunteer, because at its core AI is a volunteer organization so they’re built around volunteer action. You can start by getting in touch with your local field office (in this case, the one in Boston) and Amnesty Local Group (Amnesty 133 in Cambridge/Somerville). There are lots of friendly people in AI who will be happy to help you get started if you’re new to this. And if you’re into rallies and protests, AI can get you into that too. 
  • Lobby government officials: Massachusetts is definitely ahead of the curve (compared to the rest of the states) on these kinds of issues, but there’s always room for improvement. Stay educated and aware of any bills relating to law enforcement and criminal justice, and make your voice heard if there’s something you don’t like. If you have friends or relatives in other states that aren’t doing quite as well as Massachusetts in regards to criminal justice reform, encourage them to call their elected officials to pressure them to change the laws. Amnesty International, The Innocence Project, etc. will often have petitions you can sign as well.
  • Share the knowledge you’ve gained with as many people as you can. The most enduring change occurs from the bottom up, and that means writing about these issues and talking to people about them. That’s why I wrote Remain Free and speak to awesome groups of people like the folks at CreativeMornings Boston!


You can follow Gautam on Twitter and on his personal blog.

Zombies & Climate Change: a Follow-up from Shawn Hesse

Comparing climate change to a zombie apocalypse is a lot of fun, but can sometimes have unintended consequences of leaving people focused too much on fiction rather than fact. Zombies get the headlines, but they are the Trojan horse for the main content; the point is that there is urgent work to be done that will help to reduce the causes of climate change, and also help us adapt to the changes we are seeing from it.

Sometimes in the fan-fiction world of zombie stories and apocalyptic futures, the reality of what we are truly capable of can be lost. Here’s a recap of some of the climate change and community building solutions that I highlighted in my CreativeMornings presentation:

  • Living on current local income – using only the sun that shines and the water that falls down on us for free to meet our needs. Our firm emersion DESIGN has completed multiple projects that begin to implement these strategies to create buildings, communities, and entire college campuses that generate all of their own energy needs on site from solar panels, and projects that capture rainwater for reuse in irrigation and plumbing.
  • Community gardens, urban farms, and farmers markets all create access to locally grown food that is less dependent on the massive infrastructure of more commercially produced food. There are no shortage of example programs from the Green Bronx Machine, to the Urban Farming Institute of Boston, to organizations like GreenWave in New Haven that are looking at ways to sustainably farm from the sea. All of them provide ways that we can shift our communities towards locally sourced food.
  • Preparing a community for emergency situations is a critical component of much of the planning work being done around Boston, and the world. Thinking about the resiliency of our community and our infrastructure during potential storms, hurricanes, droughts, floods, and other emergencies, helps to ensure we can bounce back better than we have been in the past. Organizations like the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program are providing funding, and comprehensive frameworks to help city leaders and planners study the critical vulnerabilities and opportunities in their community.
  • Building equity is one of the most difficult challenges that we face, in part because it is not as easily quantified and calculated as much as carbon emissions, or sea-levels, and in part because it is an uncomfortable and unfamiliar conversation for many. However, there are many examples of initiatives and programs specific to the built environment that are working to build equity into our communities. The JUST Organizations label from the International Living Future Institute is a transparency label for companies to disclose their policies and performance across multiple social justice and equity indicators, and we are currently engaged in work with the US Green Building Council to integrate social equity indicators into the world’s most widely adopted green building certification program, LEED.
  • The most critical challenge facing us today, and into the future, is how we come together as a community, as a city, state, nation, and world.  The Paris climate agreement is the first time countries around the world have committed to a set of common goals to mitigate climate change, and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The agreement marks a key moment in the story of how we have responded to climate change, signifying that the actions we each are taking as individual countries, need to work together with the others to reach a common goal. The same is true even down to individual actions like biking or walking, recycling, using less energy, and eating local food.

The only way we can really solve the problems of climate change is by taking action together… just like surviving the zombie apocalypse.