We are here to amplify stories of love to heal our worlds. Throughout 2019, MELS LOVE LAND, will create inspirational work, expand heart connections, tell stories and share all the inspiration that flows from loving media put into action. We are excited to introduce Season One of our original Docu-Series that asks the question; 'What Would the World Be Like if All Our Thoughts Were Loving?' and grateful for everyone we are privileged to work with in our all systems love media operation.
The Care and Work of the Heart.
One of the common themes of love activism is how it reveals the work of the heart, it is often an unstoppable impulse beating out an activists passion to share their gifts as an offering of sacred service to community wellness. Here is a first look at the orgs that we chose to work with and highlight in Season 1 of Mels Love Land. They exemplify the work required and are disrupting old patterns of community engagement, standing for love, education, justice, peace and spend long hours putting in the selfless work to support our collective wellness. They occupy intersecting areas including: earth wellness, food supply policy, community organizing, healing, permaculture, arts activism, advancing justice, offering girls empowerment, and rehabilitating our Veterans. We are honored to share these organizations as we set the stage for the series transmissions in 2019.
TEN ORGS TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON
These non-profits are changing the game, reshaping our worlds, creating love policy, and fiercely leading with heart centered work.
CRITICAL MASS DANCE COMPANY | DANCE FROM THE HEART
CRITICAL MASS DANCE COMPANY and its foundational energy healing practice of seven sacred movements offered as the Dance from the Heart process is at work in the City of Angels connecting the inter-personal, and the larger communities of what moves us, and what opens hearts and grounds dreams, allowing a process of being in the world as loving movement. The process, the work and the teachings gasps the light of the collective heart as birth point for what is next leaving healing in its wake.
As Martha Graham often said, 'the instrument through which dance speaks is also the instrument through which life is lived — the human body.' Without Dance we lose our connection to the constant and ever moving vibrational harmonies of the universe which are always in motion; healing, regenerating and moving with the co-creative energy of love. Those who know how to dance with life, to embody and embrace its movements, flowing and gliding through what comes, masters the earth's cycles of possibility.
CMDC fosters the healing and empowerment of underserved girls and women in Los Angeles through dance and movement. CMDC's programs provide a space where girls and women (inclusive of cis and trans women, femme, and gender nonconforming individuals) cultivate confidence, resiliency, and wellness; nurture their mind/body connection; build community; and achieve their goals & dreams.
Transformation through heart-centered movement is a cornerstone to the creative direction of the organization, how, the movement of the heart heals trauma, releases pains, from any ancestral wounding. This heart healing energy practice of sacred movement uses 7 movements to root, align, uplift and harmonize the body. The Dance Company supports girls and women through offering Dance from the Heart programs to low-income, girls of color and adult survivors of sexual and domestic violence. It allows a process of natural creation of the body and when we embody our dreams the world changes, we take our place in the grand movement evolving the spaces and places we occupy. Whenever you feel something that won't heal, a thought, an action, a situation, put it in motion, align in the hearts work and keep on dancing. You will thank this organization for this one idea and any and all donations will help these programs continue and expand : )
If you want to practice the 7 sacred movements and the idea of empowering, healing, educating and providing tools to our daughters, our precious girts. Consider donating to CMDC to activate and empower young girls to feel into their bodies and hearts and recover from trauma.
BAND OF SINGERS | THE BIRDHOUSE
a Dignity of Man joint
The BirdHouse is a community garden in Hollywood, serving as a hub of exchange for those attracted to caring for the land and community through arts and ecology. Think of this group as a community-based resource to leverage arts and ecology for the wellbeing of people and place. The Birdhouse embodies the ethos of biophilia — love of life and the living world. In order to cultivate a culture of cooperation and a more resilient future, they instill a sense of deep connection to the web of life. Creating the conditions to reconnect people and place. Engaging community and each other in finding creative solutions through permaculture, systems thinking, medicinal plants, art, singing, science and storytelling.
One of the programs at The Birdhouse is a community activist choir of storytellers and singers lighting up the canyon home and transmission center - where the world famous Hollywood sign resides.
The group connects people to place, Like a harmonic prayer of the heart coming together to discover the essential heart of storytelling through song. In the heart of Beachwood Canyon a sacred group of artists, storytellers and activists gather together in harmony to activate our collective love of our lands lead by music maker Maesa Pullman.
We aspire to a new story of interdependence, to restore shared wisdom, and to have fun doing it. Our vision is a lush and vibrant urban landscape where people are cooperating with nature to attain health and wellbeing born of genuine concern for each other and the environment.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
There is no greater space than a library for building community connection, creating the space for possibilities, igniting a lifelong love of the arts, and ideas and passions. In the heart of DC is the master library of the United States of America. The Library of Congress's mission is to engage, inspire, and inform Congress and the American people with a universal and enduring source of knowledge and creativity. The world changes through the work and care and efforts that go into our every operation toward deeper literacy in all areas of our eco-systems. The work of our Civic, Public, Federal operations is deeply loving, deeply held spaces where love and kindness grows and prospers. It is an honor to have these principles on display in our series, as we bare witness to all the worlds offerings of art, books, photography, film as the representation of the creativity of our great nation.
The library holds the symbols of our great United States of America, the documents that founded our country and the reminders that all life is created equal, that hard work and harmony and we the people will rise and in its connection to the capital of our country it tends the consciousness of those who govern our nation.
Wonderful opportunities for free programs, lectures and support are made possible by continuing Donations.
LA FOOD POLICY COUNCIL
The leading good food advocacy group in the country is as work in Los Angeles. Policy requires collaboration across the many disciplines and stakeholders. Good food policy that shift our worldview to align in health and wellness, social justice and community empowerment flows through how we nourish ourselves.
At one point food and water were our medicines. Regenerating our food system is critical work in the world. They are doing powerful community focused work vital to the health and wellness of our future. Nourishment of our children, each other and ourselves begins with our food systems. Food policy touches every household. They were instrumental in legalizing street vending, to introducing a ground breaking sustainable food policy for the County of LA, to helping donate over 4 million pounds of fresh food to food banks (through improved policy and city services, to launching a public awareness campaign about food waste.
Good food policy impacts every socio-economic category and touches every public square. In the beginning food and water were our medicines. Clean food, clean air and soil is how we prioritize wellness moving forward. I hope you find wonderful organizations already doing great work to love and support in the coming year. Start now and give where you live and nourish others in your wake! Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Los Angeles Food Policy Council so they can sustain this great work.
ADVANCING JUSTICE | JUSTICE FOR VETS | NADCP
Innovation isn't a word often associated with the Criminal Justice System. Our court systems require context, in allowing Veterans to be treated, offered a path to rehabilitate
and be returned to the community rather than in prison. Advancing Justice.org is a natural offshoot of Justice for Vets, a division of the National Association of Drug Care Professionals (NADCP) advocates for Veterans rights restoring lives and hope in our communities through Drug and Veterans Treatment Courts.
In 2016 Congress passed a historic addiction bill, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) that also authorized funding or Veterans Treatment Courts and Drug Courts. As discussions on how to handle the critical opioid crisis unfold there are talks of a 'CARA 2.0.' While our nation suffers under a weight of addiction and how to solve it, NADCP | Justice for Vets and a new initiative to lead the way to use the tools, innovations and institutional knowledge to effectively and with great courage shift to solutions that work to re-integrate, rehabilitate our Vets. Every day they organize, train, advocate and implement solutions that work creating just, healing outcomes in the lives of Veterans across the country. This is working to return one of our greatest public assets back into their communities. They served our country it is our opportunity to serve them. More information here.
MY GENERATION CAMPAIGN | SIERRA CLUB
The Sierra Club is the most enduring and influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States amplifying the power of 3.5+ million members and supporters interested in defending everyone’s right to a healthy world. What has any of us gained if we leave a poisoned world to our children. Each of us is responsible for the way we organize our relationship with the earth. The work of the Sierra Club has long been an inspiration rooted in nature. Through their work, several initiatives in working with youth advocates to activate awareness and integrate those who are most affected sharing in a vision of California powered with 100% clean energy to create a world of clean air, water and soil.
I first became aware of this program within the Sierra Club when I was invited to a stakeholders meeting in Watts to discuss air quality. Until that evening I didn't understand that Watts is a catalyst to every social justice conversation and holds a unique sacred space in the movement for clean air, land and soil. It is positioned between three of our biggest polluting source points in Los Angeles, LAX airport, The ports of Long Beach and the Warehousing and Truck transportation gateways creating a horrifying toxic zone, like a Bermuda triangle of poison that impacts everyone in its vice.
On a personal level, I showed up in support of my friends son who suffers from Asthma so pronounced, the only thing that has saved his life on three different occasions is the quick thinking of the Emergency Room. What I learned -- our industrial regulations are plenty and the overarching words used by stakeholders where health management, no mention of solving the problem, only of managing it i.e. no respite for those effected. There are a lot of terrible statistics, this one got me, as I think about my friends daughter. Fifteen people die every day in the south coast region because of air pollution. We deserve solutions that will help clean up our air and power our future.
RISE TO REUNITE
in partnership with Al Otro Lado
One of our dear friends, a mom, an immigration Attorney, joined other activists to answer the humanitarian crisis call at our Southern Boarder. No human being is illegal, our brothers and sisters need our help and a broken system is no excuse for mistreating our neighbors. This volunteer group of immigration attorneys and community members dedicated to helping reunite families. 'I care because I understand it is time to rise into the work of love, creating immigration systems that function.'
Every share, donation, volunteer, support is appreciated. If interested consider donating to their start up organization that directly works to re-unite families.
KINDNESS CLUB | 52 WEEKS OF GIVEBACK
Do one "random act of kindness" each week for 52 weeks was founded by kindness advocate and television documentary filmmaker Tamra Raven and her daughter LuLu. The power of a kind act has an indelible butterfly effect. Kindness is an act of love in motion. It is the consistent and constant work of the heart, finding the moments to give unconditionally, to be inspired by what would be most kind. In witnessing the work of this heart inspired grass roots organization, a realization that kindness is a direct result of listening to the rhythms of the world and building bridges of hope that electrify the heart to connect to what is most human.
Mels Love Land directly partnered with 52 Weeks of Giveback to create the Kindness Club - direct kindness events that connect empathy and compassion with acts of kindness. Practical everyday acts that give back to the community creating an unending chain of support and harmony.
LA CATHOLIC WORKER
The Los Angeles Catholic Worker community is part of the lay Catholic Worker movement founded over eighty years ago by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin to “feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner” and offer a gospel-based critique of the dominant culture within Catholic tradition, but outside the institutional church. They believe in standing up for those who need it. I was introduced to this organization by my dear friend Melissa Fitzgerald and her loving heart. Every year at Easter they host a Stations of the Cross social justice walk bringing awareness to the issues we face living in our Military Industrial Complex and build bridges to atone for our actions, inactions and to nourish the work ahead by creating understanding. Each station is intersected with a contemporary public issue in conjunction with a place, statue, building that represents a piece of the healing necessary to grow our loving systems. It is a wonderful time of deep contemplation and growth, and supports the inner work necessary to create new outcomes in our 21st century hearts. We are deeply grateful for this time of community and connection and grace to walk our contemporary streets and stand for something loving and shine more light on the works and messages and symbols that surround our every days.
Consider this the first step in deepening a relationship to miracles, to rising from the death of what no longer serves and remembering we have the power to get off the cross. In the series we invite you to explore, to join and to experience these necessary breakthrough moments where we connect Christianity and pervasive imagery to the roots of meaning and the humblest expression of baring witness to what ills that weigh down the soul while knowing it is all in process and if it isn't a happy ending the story isn't over, and we always begin again no matter what!
Founded in 1970, the Los Angeles Catholic Worker is a lay Catholic community of folks who operate a free soup kitchen, hospitality house for the homeless, hospice care for the dying, a bi-monthly newspaper, and regularly offers prophetic witness in opposition to war-making and systemic injustice. It is funded exclusively by individual private donations, they do not operate as a non-profit, their work is that of the purest movement of Christian consciousness to be of service to community.
UNCHAINED MEDIA COLLECTIVE
Putting yourself into the heart of an effort, empowering change, interceding in chronic and persuasive patterns puts us into the heart of the matter and allows for the possibility to have a miracle. What happens when we are hiding our problems. The universe opened up and brought me a gift of understanding so deep it is still a work in progress. I met a young filmmaker flowing out of a legal profession using storytelling to expand activism and bring light to the darkest of spaces, into our prison system and expose the way forward. What happens when a birth to prison pipeline operates over decades and those caught in its wake are lost in jails, prison, behind bars? How do we make the connection? How do we remember? This organization is a partnership between two souls looking to shift the outcomes of those incarcerated and advocate for change through storytelling. Unchained Media Collective is a production company and media arts collective that amplifies voices from inside the system through collaborative film, multimedia & publishing projects. We foster storytelling and new media production skills and building art- and technology-based platforms to advocate for justice, healing and redemption. Within the dark, a great light burns. That light transcends place and time and when we apply principles of revolutionary love the world changes.
Together lets find ways to support them, let their work be an inspiration for you to reach out in your neighborhood and become a community love activist, whether through continuing contributions, showing up for an action, attending a teaching, learning about their operations and allowing your heart to be moved to a deeper sense of sacred community service.
All of this and more occupies, intercedes and transmits from the original docu-series. We are here for love, to be love, and to share love. Let's get principled and disciplined and loving with our work in the world and enjoy each other, laugh, dance, give, share, create and be someone who offers all of themselves to our collective open heart.
AN ORIGNINAL DOCU-SERIES
MELS LOVE LAND:
WHAT WOULD THE WORLD BE LIKE IF ALL OUR THOUGHTS WERE LOVING?
Inspired. Found something of interest. Wonderful works of love in action activism, supports our communities and nourishes of our collective heart. Keep your eye out for season one of the original Docu-Series Mels Love Land as you consider the question 'What would the world be like if love always remained the answer?'
Keep your eye out for season one of the original Docu-Series Mels Love Land that asks the question 'What would the world be like if love always remained the answer?'
Melanie Lutz is a writer and love activist living and working in the City of Angels.