A 2008 grant from the Rex Foundation helped San Francisco’s Nextcourse establish the Soul Food Project, a collaborative effort to give women leaving the county jail system practical resources for healthy lifestyles and good nutrition. Last week Rex executive director Sandy Sohcot had the opportunity to participate in a session–and enjoy the results. She reports:
On Thursday, March 18, I had the pleasure of being part of the lunch session of Soul Food, a project of Nextcourse that meets each Thursday at the Women’s Reentry Center of the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department.
On this day, a guest chef from the San Francisco Zen Center provided the meal recipes and guided the food preparation and cooking. Niyati Desai, the Soul Food Project Coordinator, began the session with all of us declaring our favorite vegetables, then followed with a review of cabbage and ginger, two of the main ingredients of the meal we were about to prepare, and how these ingredients provided nutrients and health. There were some excellent questions about good calories and bad calories, good carbohydrates and bad carbohydrates, and why it was good to try tofu.
For the two hours, we were all a team, collaborating to prepare and cook the food, and then sit together to enjoy the delicious results. Over lunch, one of the women who regularly attends the project classes told me about how she has completely changed what she buys and cooks for her family meals and knows this has made a big difference. She said she is still dealing with resisting tempting snacks and desserts, and we commiserated about this ongoing, universal challenge.
Rex Foundation executive director Sandy Sohcot spoke with California PTA president Carol Kocivar in an interview that aired Tuesday, March 9 on KALW FM. Sandy talks about Rex’s The World As It Could Be project and the impact it’s having on the lives of local high school students who participate.
Listen to the interview on the Rex Web site!
The Rex Foundation produced our first Make Believe Ball February 18, 2010 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. The Make Believe Ball spawned from an idea by board member Tim Duncan who collaborated with board member Dawn Holliday to arrange for the replay of the infamous 1975 Grateful Dead Blues for Allah record release party later released as One From The Vault. The term Make Believe Ball is attributed to the taper who named his audience tapes of that evening “The Make Believe Ball“.
Project Avary is a year-round support and enrichment program for Bay Area children, ages 8 to 15, who share the difficulties presented by a parent’s incarceration or ongoing involvement in the criminal justice system. Project Avary consists of three, integrated main components: Camp Avary, Avary Adventure Days–field trips that take place monthly during the school yea –and the Avary Mentoring Program.
The mission is to discourage cycles of violence and criminal activity by providing a consistent, nurturing community in which children may: express themselves creatively; cultivate trusting relationships with peers and adults; build self-esteem and self knowledge and gain a broadened sense of what is possible in their lives.
385 Bel Marin Keys Blvd, Ste G
Novato, CA 94949
This Saturday, February 13, Rex Foundation Executive Director Sandy Sohcot joins host Vicki Leeds of West Marin Radio (KWMR) on her “Vicarious Traveler” program from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. (Pacific). She’ll be talking about all things Rex, including the upcoming Make Believe Ball and the World As It Could Be project.
Listen over the air at 89.5/90/5 FM, or via Internet stream at www.kwmr.org.
Rex grantee The Innocence Project has been working since 1989 to help the wrongfully convicted gain exoneration and justice. With the exoneration this week of Freddie Peacock of Rochester, New York, the organization marked its 250th success.
Peacock’s case was especially egregious because it involved a false confession from a mentally ill man. Says IP co-director Peter Neufeld, with Peacock’s exoneration, “New York becomes the nation’s capital of false confessions.” Since 2002, 10 people in New York have been exonerated through DNA testing after false confessions or admissions led to wrongful convictions–a third of all all DNA exonerations in that period.
The Bread Project in the San Francisco Bay Area is a Rex grantee working to provide job skills in the culinary field to adults who have trouble finding work–and along the way, life skills to help them achieve the goals they once thought impossible. The program’s been so successful that the Project has been forced to turn many eligible students away, but an upcoming expansion to larger headquarters will allow it to train even more.
Recently we heard from Bread Project Executive Director Dagmar Schroeder-Huse, who shared a few of the program’s success stories. We were delighted to read them–and happy to share this example of the good work the Rex community makes possible.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals graciously supported the Rex Foundation by joining the Music Caravan with a show at The Fillmore in San Francisco. They also attended the Rex pre-concert reception greeting fans and enthralling board members with their open minds and kindness.
Grace Potter is one of the sweetest musicians we have met in years. Rex board members thanked Grace for her participation, but it was the Rex Foundation who Grace thanked for allowing her and the Nocturnals to be involved.
As a young band on the road establishing their audience, Grace Potter and The Nocturnals appreciated the opportunity to associate with a well established organization like the Rex Foundation. They realize and acknowledge the valuable support Rex Foundation provides to grassroots efforts that have continued making a difference in the world. It was wonderful to meet these talented musicians and even more fun to discover and experience their music live!
Thank you Grace Potter and The Nocturnals for stepping on board the Rex Music Caravan. We appreciate being associated with you.
For more information and photos go to the Rex website for A Little Night Music for Rex.
[/kml_flashembed]Earlier this month, Rexfoundation.org editor Mary Eisenhart and I sat down for a conversation about the rebirth of the Rex Foundation in 2001, our ongoing renewal, and our community of supporters. We hope you enjoy these video clipsand find them informative, and we invite you to share your thoughts and comments here!
This photograph of me with Dune Lankard and Carol Hoover, EPC Executive Director, was taken on August 10, 2009 at the 5-Mile House in Cordova, AK, home base of EPC. I had been visiting for four days, experiencing firsthand the positive force of Dune’s thinking and energy, as well as the vast and deep beauty that motivates his actions.
Reading the article inspired me to write more about my reflections on how Dune and the work of EPC connect with all of us seeking to do our part as members of the global community.
Let us know what you think about these reflections: Post your comments here or email us at email@example.com. Thanks!
We recently heard from Philippe Vezina of Rhode Island, who suffered the loss of his friend Mark Calo earlier this year and is putting on a fundraising concert this weekend to pay tribute. Philippe, who is sure that Mark would approve, will be donating the proceeds of the event to the Rex Foundation.
Philippe writes: “I have been a supporter of the Rex Foundation since the late 1980s as a result of my Grateful Dead connections. I feel it is an excellent charity that year after year makes a difference in the challenging world that we live in today.”
Our deepest condolences to Philippe and all Mark’s friends, and our heartfelt thanks to them for deciding to honor Mark by furthering Rex’s work.
Rex executive director Sandy Sohcot, standing in front of the Prankster Bus Further, explains why she is on the Bus.
Percussionist extraordinaire (and Rex board member) Mickey Hart, along with compatriots Zakir Hussain, Sikiru Adepoju and Giovanni Hidalgo, won the Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album in last night’s Grammy Awards ceremony for their Global Drum Project album. It’s the second such award for Mickey and his fellow drummers, whose Planet Drum won a Grammy in 1991. Congratulations to Mickey and GDP!
This week’s archived Grateful Dead Hour broadcast on Dead.net features a 1991 show in which Phil Lesh and Gary Lambert explain the Rex Foundation’s Ralph J. Gleason Award, which they’re about to present to David Grisman. They’re interviewing Grisman and swapping tales of the early days when along comes Jerry Garcia with more stories. It’s a blast from Rex’s past, so if you missed it the first time around, or want to revisit the good times, check it out!