In 1998, I lived in a 15th floor studio apartment in West Philadelphia. At my desk overlooking both lovely Fairmount Park and the city skyline, I created a never published website simply called Utopia. The vision for the project, according to the second home page I developed, was to empower and motivate young women and men to actively construct their lives and communities in order to exist more peacefully and harmoniously with themselves, others, and the environment. I promised readers to publish a quarterly journal entitled Utopia: An Overture of Peace and Harmony and to create a website that would: educate people about their rights, responsibilities, and human potential; distribute information that is helpful in cultivating compassionate, well rounded, and determined human beings; share experiences among each other so that we may learn and grow with each other; analyze psychological and social theories and discover how to apply them to get more out of our daily lives; enlighten with art, poetry, and prose; and provide an exchange for buyers and sellers of intellectually stimulating, ecologically sound, and socially responsible products and services. With the exception of the last statement and the nuances of naivete, I am struck by the similarities between the aforementioned forsaken website and the relaunch of The Fruition Coalition this summer. Something deep within my soul, which I have repressed and redirected over the past 15 years, is yearning to be set free.
I am grateful for the many detours my life has taken since the initial conceptualization of Utopia: I have earned two and a half graduate degrees; helped to raise two lovely girls who are both now college students; and served the community as an executive director and in several other capacities. All of these experiences — indeed, all of my experiences — will inform the ongoing development of this and other projects. I am especially grateful for this opportunity to integrate my inner dreams, perhaps my soul purpose, with everything I have learned about myself and the world in which I live throughout my early adulthood. Still a work in progress, I look forward to reviewing blog posts from The Activist’s Muse, posts on Le Salon Utopique, and recordings of classes from The Fruition Academy of Social Imagination and Action in another 15 years to reflect on my journey and the person I am becoming.
Thank you for being a part of this journey. To Utopia we go!