That Detroit is just sooo hot right now (Mugatu/Zoolander). Still ripe with good vibes from Movement Electronic Music Festival , we kept the momentum rolling, doubled down and spent a beautiful week in the D, preparing for the Detroit Grand Prix on Belle Isle. While good people, smoke, and mirrors have kept this ship from sinking at sea (on more than one occasion), the wonderful world of experiential marketing has help spread our message of love and relief across these United States, through security, onto airplanes, surfboards, skateboards, storefronts, street signs, and the edge of storyteller’s breath to span the globe and quite possibly – Mars.
After a long, hot free Friday, working for Firestone on Belle Isle, Senor PMT and I joined forces once more, armed with positivity, good will and a smile. We left the Holiday Inn Express and set out to meet Colin McConnel (Detroit Respect) and Megan Gilbert (The Dharma Shop) for a photo shoot to promote our latest licensed apparel. I was first drawn to this awesome movement and cause-based apparel line when I saw Dontae Rockymore (Mr. Heat Cam) modeling their “Believe there is good in Detroit/Be the good in Detroit” design. We connected and began exploring the potential for a mutual beneficial partnership which helped celebrate, and drive a force for Good in Detroit.
While I have spent many days and nights on the campaign trail over the course of the last four years, there really is no place like home. No matter where the road has taken me, along with my Good Sign, I always wear the D on my sleeve. I take great pleasure and pride sharing the progress of our beautiful city with those who have been spoon fed fear and doubt, sold on a city beyond reparation; sold on the notion that Detroit is at war with itself; sold on a ship sailed, sunk, and shamed.
But underneath the whims and whispers of conjurers and cons, resides a pulsating heart, beating blood into a story of a unified people committed to one another, our city, and hope upon the horizon. There is no place for ego in pursuit of progress. Genuine human beings help because they are able; genuine human beings help because within their blood runs the inclination that a better world will not be given to us; a better world is the product of reciprocity, sweat equity, and love.
Less than two months ago I connected with Detroit photographer Terry Shear because we appreciated one another’s hard work and passion. Wasting no time, the following day we ventured downtown to assemble a team of ordinary superheroes, committed to defending and perpetuating goodness in Detroit. Without knowing it, fate forged our paths to ensure the voice of a great city be heard and broadcast as medicine for villages and nations muted and defined by despair.
We met Rusty Young, founder of Hell Yeah Detroit, and Detroit photographer Maya Fardoun, of Heart Detroit and Falafill, recently opened in Midtown. It was love at first sight: the heart longs to be accompanied by the passion and energy it emits. Quickly we discovered that despite our individual efforts, brands, and backgrounds, we shared a common and necessary goal – growth – in both ourselves and the community which carries the city we hold in our heart. Over broken bread and delicious Falafill we gazed into one another’s eyes, recognizing the fervent flame which resides behind and illuminates our own. Intuited vision highlights a road which leads to the betterment of all beings; but it is the helping hands along the way which manifest vision into reality, strangers into family, and hope into growth.
Drawn to those who spend their time gardening beneath the rubble, climbing atop the brick and mortar which this city was built, we continue to plant seeds of hope, attending to their nourishment, providing the love and encouragement necessary to produce strong and bountiful blessings. As individuals, our vision often haunts us, frequent to present a world too caught up in ego to grow; but together, we are reminded of our duty and ability to manifest destiny and change the world with our own two hands, two eyes, head, heart and soul.
While walking a path paved with goodness, we are physically and emotionally drawn to those who will walk by our side, while illuminating the lingering shadows ahead. Once more we ascended thirteen floors and emerged atop the view we’ve come to adore, greeted by three wonderful ladies, and a Good Sign. There is an excitable energy running wild in Detroit and it’s in no short supply. From across the world they will travel, to cliff dive into an oasis of community, creation, and positive energy! We are collectively living the story of our city’s rebirth. Let us utilize our resources to share good stories with the world.
Stories where four people decide to ride their bicycles from Detroit to Austin to help people and inspire community! People like Collin McConnell, Dane and Tyler Wittig, who will leave in September to raise money for Chive Charities, CoDA (Coalition of Dwarf Advocacy, and three young Michigan boys with diseased hearts. The Vercammen family is a family of five boys, three of which have been born with congenital heart disease. We can ride with them by telling their story, engaging our community to support their mission, and the welcoming message it offers to the world. In this good fight we must focus on assembling a team ready to battle with loving efficiency, because the road is long. Everyday we are piecing together a puzzle but it has a loop hole: the pieces are drawn together.
Once the individual is able to perceive self-worth or satisfaction from his or her contribution to the whole, true community will be practiced. Others can be a tremendous source of motivation when times are tough. It is easier to let yourself down, than others. For better or worse, the more you contribute to others, the more they will depend on you. I believe it is easier to rationalize giving up on yourself, than it is to give up on others. Let us consider community as motivation and necessary structure to free us from the cage within which we confine happiness. Let the sparkle in a child’s eyes be your reminder that this world needs you. Let the glowing smile of a beautiful soul remind that you too, are beautiful. Let the lyrical creations of another remind you that your suffering isn’t exclusive, but mutual. And whether it be the sound of pouring rain, or the gust of cool, winter winds, let it remind you just how special it feels when the sun shines upon your skin, and the moon sparkles aside the stars you gaze to.
Join Team Good Sign.
Every day we are feeding those hungry and desperate for kindness, encouragement, and hope that we can work together to leave this world better than we entered it.
For every Good Sign we sell, we give away 50.
“If you’ve been loved by someone your never rejected, decide what to be and go be it.” The Avett Brothers