"If you don't believe in yourself with all your heart, then no one else will." Ludi Nsimba of Roosevelt Island, N. Y.
"I grew up a lot in my first year in the service; above all, be proud, have respect and tolerance for others." Eugene Pette from Detroit. Pette volunteers at the Golden Gate Cafe in Highland Park. Pette serviced as a Captain in US Army from 1978 to 1988.
I went to Standing Rock because of three very profound words, Water is life. One common bond amongst the human race is a desire for clean water despite our political leanings. We all wish for a good life as water is a connecting source to that spirit. I went without intention and was open to help those in the camp, the Indigenous youth, and elders alike. They recited an amazing prayer tailored to their needs for survival which really inspired me. The weather was harsh, so my vehicle (Pinzgauer) provided refuge to ensure that people did not get stuck in the drifting snow. My role was to clear the roads in and out of the camp so that families could take their children to school at Ft. Yates and arrive back safely. This task filled my days and nights; I spent a significant amount of time digging and pulling cars out of ditches, but I was happy to help anyone in need. It was backbreaking work. In addition, it was necessary to clear the roads and cars so that water protectors could get to Turtle Island and medics could access them when police interaction became troublesome. So what are my thoughts on Standing Rock? The prayers of the Indigenous are continually being answered. Indigenous people have an innate sense to protect the environment since it is necessary for their survival. People all over the world are recognizing the atrocities that are taking place; therefore, they are taking action to help. Standing Rock was like a stone thrown out into the lake of the world, the concentric circles continue to reverberate outward and touch and awaken people throughout the world, in all walks of life. WATER IS LIFE! Gillies Primitive
"My shelter is full of warmth where I'm fully protected, it's a place I can call home where the silence makes it even peaceful; it's my little La La Land. I can speak my mind, I can feel my freedom once again, the fresh wind brushes pass my skin softly. Not a drop of rain can fall on me, I am fully protected under that tree; it's more than a tree, it's a place where my imagination turns to reality where I explore my dreams. A place full of wonders; a place where miracles take place, a tree that bears fruits, under the fig tree." Winona Wagner, describing her life as a homeless street performer.
"I started by imaging the success in my mind. I realized if you don't see the success then all you will see is the failure," says Clark Carapezza, as he explains his resiliency in bouncing back from hitting rock bottom while he was living in the streets.
"Experiencing the back country on a horse is a rarity; no other experience could parallel the gratitude I get from horseback riding," said Melanie Rees with her two horses on her farm in Crested Butte, Colo.
"Our nation's military is strategically compromising its magnitude due to a violation of the first amendment. Tattoos are a form of expression and have no reflection on my ability to serve this country." says Dylan Thomas, Detroit graffiti artist and activist
"I do any type of parties. I've done a variety of events in this city, if you need an entertainer, I'm your man. I am the West Coast Flava Flav."
"It's a real treat when real folks meet because you have to be real in order to get to heaven." Mr. Detroit
"The longer you wait, the better it gets. Always stay true to yourself." Casey W. Grant of Venice Beach, Calif.
"I've been a South Side Sox fan all my life. Hopefully, they come through with a win tonight," said Ronald of Englewood, Chicago.
"By day, I'm a tech person at a hardware gaming company. By night, I work on my art, drawing, and writing. My dream is to have one of my comic books published and sold in books stores," says Pravisti Shrestha of Pacifica, Calif.
"666 is a bad number for others, but it's a good day for us. This is who we are," said Hector Rodriguez, 18th Street gang member as he proudly poses for a portrait in downtown Los Angeles
"When I was young I worked as a model. I have been through a lot in my life trying to make the most of my time while living on the streets." Michelle McClellan from Lake Wood, Wash.
"We're learning from the Indigenous communities here at Standing Rock, to serve as water protectors on the right side of history. We are protecting the water of 17 million people." Jessie Illnicki, Marine Corps Veteran from Philadelphia.
"I don't give a damn what others think. I live the way I want," says Dee as she enjoys the desert weather, posing for a portrait next to a reservoir in Eastern Calif.
"I have survived being homeless for 16 years by being in the company of amazing friends, they have touched my life in so many positive ways." Ariel Archaic Flame of Chicago
"I've been a San Fran bike messenger for 16 years; I love my job! There's always another adventure." Berry Kurt of Modesto, Calif.
"I didn't always get things to go my way while I was growing up. I've learned life is what you make it. That's why I do I whatever I want to do now." Mikey from Louisville, Ky.
"My dreams are dreams and life is what it seems and love lost all its mystery," says Felix Pintor of Camden, N. J. Pintor is a charismatic salesman on the Venice Beach boardwalk which supports his passion for recording and producing music.
"I do what I want as much as I can" is Sam Devine's motto. Sam is honing in on his creative side, penning his autobiography as he supports himself in San Francisco by tending bar and being a motorcycle messenger.
Victoria Peters poses for a golden hour portrait in downtown Bowling Green, Ky.
Chuck shows his frustration after several days of long hours on his feet working in downtown Austin, Texas.
"No matter how you feel about something do the best you can every day, one day at a time," said Mark Hasko of Freeland, Pa.