Blog

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Get It Together by Raiden

May 11, 2017

Tight Pum Pum Club by Leila Bani

May 1, 2017

The Nuevo Workout Plan ’17 by JSPH

April 25, 2017

She Wanna Move by Kempeh

April 11, 2017

Retro Tight Sweat by Andrea Barber

March 21, 2017

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Equality Is Tight

March 7, 2017

“Intersectional Feminism is the view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation and ethnicity.” Intersectional feminism was term introduced by…

“Intersectional Feminism is the view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, sexual orientation and ethnicity.”

Intersectional feminism was term introduced by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989. It explains that feminism does not represent just one view and that we need to listen to and acknowledge the lived experiences of everyone. Check out our Reading List for some helpful articles that break down intersectional feminism and explain just how necessary it is.

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fucking equality baby

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the first ever Tight Town Hall. Inspired by International Women’s Day and fuelled by the desire for social change, our community came together to discuss intersectional feminism, privilege, the power of art, micro practices, and larger actions that we can incorporate into our daily lives. Facilitated by Keighty Gallagher, Gowa Kong and Kate Lollar with a special performance of the Women’s Warrior Song by Jody Okabe, the evening was filled with meaningful dialogue that continued after the event ended.

We want to acknowledge that organizing this event was a learning experience. We are not experts, nor are our panel of creatives (to which we didn’t want to use the word ‘panel’ as we really wanted the conversation to be about the audience). We were NOT as inclusive or intersectional as we should be. But we will do better. We have to do better.

Tight Club is a community of creative minds, and so we reached out to female artists in our community to participate in the event. We wanted to discuss how they use their work as a voice for social change and how it can help propel a movement and inspire people to act. Check out their interviews below.

Stay tuned for more information and follow up events.

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INTERVIEWS

Rachel Ricketts is a writer, grief coach, death doula and founder of loss&found – an online platform supporting folks through loss and grief of all forms. As a loss sur-thriver and self-proclaimed recovering lawyer, she’s merged her love of advocacy with her passion for helping others in their most dire time of need. Rachel loves donuts, dancing and all things meta-physical. Follow her @lossandfoundxo.

Joy Pecknold is the Western Editor of FASHION Magazine, a freelance writer, and Tight Club’s resident comedian. Follow her @joypecknold

Beth Richards is the founder and creative director of Beth Richards Swimwear. Inspired by the Bardot era of beach culture, Beth took it upon herself to change the way women feel about swimwear by challenging the world’s idea of beauty and providing confidence and empowerment “one-piece” at a time. Follow her @bethrichardsswimwear

Tracy Ho is the College Relations & Membership Outreach Coordinator of the Douglas Students’ Union (DSU). Follow her @tray_ho

Pippa Mackie is a Vancouver-based actor/writer/producer who has written and performed in a award winning plays, and starred in feature films and television shows. Follow her @pippamackie

Gillian Damborg is the Creative Director at Luvo Inc and a Musician (Sunshine, Jody Glenham and the Dreamers). Follow her @gilly_bean

Maggie Boyd is a ceramic artist based who makes and teaches pottery for community members. She illustrated one of the tshirts and made a Tight Club Mix in honour of the event. Follow her @maggieboydceramics

Chantelle La Violette is a maker of all trades who hand-embroidered our Equality Is Tight Tshirts. Follow her @channylavie

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100% OF THE PROCEEDS DONATED

A special thanks to Maggie, Chantelle and Beth. Three limited edition t-shirts were sold at Tight Club with 100% of the proceeds going to charity.

The Censor Graphic Tee was a part of Beth’s debut collection in 2012 for the girl with a rebel heart. All proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood, a trusted health care provider, an informed educator, a passionate advocate, and a global partner helping similar organizations around the world. Planned Parenthood delivers vital reproductive health care, sex education, and information to millions of people worldwide. 

All proceeds from Maggie’s illustrated tees will go towards UNYA (Urban Native Youth Association), a registered not-for-profit, Canadian charitable organization that addresses Indigenous youth concerns. This local charity is helping Vancouver’s Indigenous youth explore their personal goals in a fun, safe and healthy environment. 

All proceeds from Chantelle’s hand-embroidered tees will be donated to One Girl Can, a registered charity based in Vancouver that provides educational opportunities for girls living in highly marginalized areas of Africa. Since 2008, One Girl Can has been working directly with the schools and communities in Uganda and Kenya, building and rehabilitating schools, funding secondary and university scholarships, and empowering students through ongoing mentorship. 

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READING LIST

The Grief Inherent in Being Black and Feminist by Rachel Ricketts

How to Survive in Intersectional Feminist Spaces 101

Befriending Becky: On the Imperative of Intersectional Feminism

Why Our Feminism Must be Intersectional (and 3 ways to practice it)

A Frank Talk With Jessa Crispin About Why Modern Day Feminism Is Full Of Shit 

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VANCOUVER ORGANIZATIONS

Thank you to Charlotte Kingston of the BCCLA who attended the Tight Town Hall and provided the contact information for the organizations below.

The BC Civil Liberties Association is Canada’s oldest and most active human rights and civil liberties organization. They work in the courtroom, the classroom, and in the streets to achieve greater equality, liberty, and justice.  Last year they had more than 30 active court cases, organized 40+ public events, appeared before Parliament dozens of times, and shared legal and know your rights guides with 10,000+ people.

They love volunteers, and are currently looking to pair up with some creative folks to design some new swag. Find us at www.bccla.org or email Nathanel@bccla.org to talk volunteer and/or donation opportunities.

Union of BC indian Chiefs 

UBCIC is a leading actor in the fight to protect BC’s Coast and stop the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Become a Coast Protector here.

Aboriginal Front Door Society

Restoring respect, dignity, and pride for Aboriginal peoples. Donate or volunteer at www.abfrontdoor.com/

PACE Society and WISH drop-in centre 

Providing support and transition services to sex workers in the downtown eastside. As many sisters and mothers continue to go missing, these organizations provide frontline support.

Carnegie Community Action Project 

Works mostly on housing, income, and land use issues in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) of Vancouver so that the area can remain a low income friendly community. As residents of the neighbourhood, it would be great to see Tight Club members working to ensure there is still space in the community for low-income residents.

No One Is Illegal-Vancouver Coast Salish Territories 

Support for migrants, and the end to immigration detention in this country.

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre 

The mission of the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre is to provide a safe, non-judgmental environment for women from all walks of life, who live and/or work in the Downtown Eastside.  To achieve this goal, the Centre provides supportive surroundings with meals, counseling, advocacy and programs which nurture and empower members. Hosts of the 26th year running Women’s Memorial March. If you came out for the women’s march, consider marching in this important memorial march for women lost in the DTES which happens annually on February 14th.

Sanctuary Health 

Seek to collaborate with communities and service providers in the Coast Salish Territories (Greater Vancouver) to create safer access to services for all people based on need rather than status. Working to make public institutions safe for undocumented people or those with vulnerable immigration statuses by working to ensure that teachers, doctors, and municipal police officers are serving residents, rather than handing over individuals to Canada Border Services.

Pivot Legal Society 

Pivot is a legal change organization that works for sex workers rights, drug policy, police accountability and housing and homelessness in the DTES. They are close friends of BCCLA and do important work. Check them out!

Black Lives Matter – Vancouver 

Black folks and allies working in solidarity with communities seeking justice from racialized violence.

Salaam – Vancouver: Queer Muslim Community 

Salaam: Queer Muslim Community is dedicated to creating space for people who identify as both Muslim and queer and trans.

QMUNITY 

An LGBTQ community centre located in the Davie Village neighbourhood of the West End.

Chinatown Action Group 

Get active where you sweat! These folks are working to ensure that longtime residents of the neighbourhood aren’t rendered homeless because of gentrification in the neighbourhood. Support their push to ensure that affordable housing remains part of the neighbourhood plan for Chinatown.

VANDU 

Vancouver is in the midst of one of the most heartbreaking public health emergencies of the last many years. Support frontline workers who aim to decrease overdose deaths in our community. Last year 922 people died. We must all do more to protect our community from the opioid crisis. Donate to support their work.

Megaphone!

Megaphone is a magazine sold on the streets of Vancouver and Victoria by homeless and low-income vendors. Vendors buy the magazine for 75 cents and sell it for $2, keeping the profit and earning a sense of pride and dignity. More than just low-barrier employment, Megaphone teaches writing workshops to its vendors who write some of the pieces in the magazine. If you get a chance, check out their incredible poetry night each year.

check in

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MORE IMPORTANT RESOURCES

So I Had An Abortion 

A safe space for people to share their stories in an effort to motivate more people to talk about abortions freely, without fear or stigma.

We Need To Talk 

Because as a matter of urgency we need safe spaces to awkwardly, messily, uncomfortably talk about gender and racial equality. Next discussion March 21 at 6pm.

Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund (Westcoast LEAF) 

Westcoast Leaf advances women’s rights (and general equality rights) through legal cases, legal clinics and a wide variety of workshops for adults and youth on topics like sexual discrimination/assault, knowing your Charter (i.e. equality) rights, and navigating your way though family law matters.

Shishi Rose 

“In order to evolve we must learn new things, hear different perspectives, and find a new worldly narrative. As a person who grew up in an environment where i did not recognize my own power, where my voice was often silenced, i want people to recognize the power that they hold. And in my efforts, i recognize my own.”

Ghost In The Shell Video 

Movies aren’t real, but they affect real people.

 

Please email info@tightclubathletics.com with any links, resources or stories that you would like to share.

 

Photos by Bree Sopatyk 

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Equality Is Tight with Rachel Ricketts

March 7, 2017

Tight Club is a community of creative minds, and so we reached out to female artists in our community to participate in the first ever Tight Town Hall – Equality Is Tight. We wanted to discuss how they use their work as a voice for social change and how it can help propel a movement…

Tight Club is a community of creative minds, and so we reached out to female artists in our community to participate in the first ever Tight Town Hall – Equality Is Tight. We wanted to discuss how they use their work as a voice for social change and how it can help propel a movement and inspire people to act. Check out more about the event here.

Rachel Ricketts is a writer, grief coach, death doula and founder of loss&found – an online platform supporting folks through loss and grief of all forms. As a loss sur-thriver and self-proclaimed recovering lawyer, she’s merged her love of advocacy with her passion for helping others in their most dire time of need. Rachel loves donuts, dancing and all things meta-physical. Catch up with Rachel at www.lossandfoundxo.com or Instagram @lossandfoundxo.rachel11. Tell us about your career path and how you started loss & found?

My career path has certainly been an untraditional one, but in hindsight everything has worked out in perfect order. I am a “recovering” corporate and entertainment lawyer, meaning I worked in private practice for 4 years until one day I couldn’t walk into my office without hysterically crying and realized I needed to make a change.

I knew deep down that my purpose was to give back to the world and put my talents and skill-sets toward helping others, but I wasn’t sure how. Then, in the summer of 2015, my mom moved into a hospice.  After enduring nearly twenty years of being debilitated by Multiple Sclerosis, she had finally had enough and death became her ultimate wish.

The experience of helping my mom die and learning how confusing, isolating and disheartening dealing with death, loss and grief eventually led me to establish my website loss&found, and become a certified death doula and grief coach. Through writing and coaching, I strive to alleviate the pain and isolation so many people feel when dealing with loss and grief and help illuminate and de-stigmatize those experiences.

2. Do you have an accomplishment that you’re most proud of?

The accomplishment I’m most proud of was helping my mother die. Assisted suicide was still illegal at the time so my mom, her doctor and I had to get really creative and persistent in helping my mom achieve her ultimate wish – which was simply peace.

In the end, she starved/dehydrated herself to death as that was the only way she could finally achieve the solace so she desperately deserved. I helped her by fighting for her right to be sedated through that process and ensuring that the hospice and her caretakers checked their biases and opinions at the door to make her feel as comfortable and physically, emotionally and spiritually supported as possible throughout her transition.

I miss my mom with every day, but helping her finally find freedom was an honour and a privilege and is without question the proudest achievement of my life.

3. What does “equality” mean to you?

Equality means achieving a time and space where the most oppressed segments of our population, being people of colour, women, the differently abled, LGBTQ, impoverished etc., have the same rights and opportunities as the most powerful and privileged. It means taking an active and honest look into the systems of power, privilege and patriarchy, how they work to oppress certain populations and taking the hard steps to understand and dismantle them.

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4. Being a female writer, what obstacles have you had to overcome?

I don’t feel I’ve had to overcome any particular obstacles as a female writer. I think given the topics I write about – death, loss, grief, etc., being a female is an asset as it’s more socially acceptable for a woman to raise these topics and approach them with vulnerability, compassion and care.

I think any obstacles I feel in my writing is a result of being Black. In my experience, people are prone to undermining what people of colour have to say, and what our experiences are. I am often told (usually by White folks) that I shouldn’t be triggered by “this”, or that I need to be less sensitive about “that”. Its infuriating in a way I can’t truly put into words – that someone feels its right and just to tell me how and what I should feel about oppression when he/she usually has zero experience with what I’m speaking of, and aren’t doing a damn thing in their own lives to combat their own power and privilege and dismantle the cycle of oppression that I’m addressing.

5. Any piece of advice that has helped you that you would pass on to other girls/women?

Honour your feelings. As women we are so prone to downplaying when shit isn’t working out or feeling good, and we’ve been socialized to ignore the alarm bells that our intuition sends ringing through our hearts, ears and bellies.

If something isn’t sitting well with you – take the time to acknowledge it. If that guy is giving you a creepy vibe, or your friend is being a sexist/racist asshole, do not be afraid to speak up (assuming you feel safe to do so). Don’t let people make you feel like you’re too emotional, too sensitive or flat out crazy. You’re not. It is okay to FEEL. In fact, its very fucking necessary. And stuffing it all down won’t help, I assure you.

I hear so many women saying they don’t feel justified in feeling what they feel. They don’t feel their loss was “big” enough to warrant feeling sad. Or they don’t feel they have it as bad as someone else and thus shouldn’t complain. I say – fuck that. Feeling unjustified about your emotions won’t stop the emotion, it just leads to a shame spiral. So honour what comes up for you, whatever it is, and listen to the wisdom in those feelings. We are so fucking wise – we just need to learn to heed to a kind of wisdom that isn’t validated in our society. Yet!

rachel326. What are you inspired by right now?

Women! Lol. Throughout this nightmare that is the election of a Trump administration, the way in which I’ve witnessed women come together, support and validate one another and strive to find fucking solutions has been mind blowing. Men are out there doing amazing things too, don’t get me wrong (shoutout to da mens); but in my day-to-day, it has been women who have been pushing really hard to help move this world where it needs to go. Feminine energy, love, compassion, empathy – these are the things we need to help heal the monstrosities in this world.

7. What scares you?

Trump! And the fact that someone like him and his administration can exist and be backed by so many folks. To me, it all stems from a lack of understanding about one another and the fact that we all have way more in common than we do differently.

What scares me most is feeling as though we may never actually be able to bridge the divide. I am an eternal optimist so I really hope we can, but in the private discussions I’ve had with people on some of the key issues, I am very fearful of the level of defensive attitudes, animosity and lack of awareness or education that exists. It has been very challenging to get people to hear what I have to say when they refuse to challenge their own power and privilege and how that plays a part in all of this. Again, unfortunately, the majority of resistance in my experience has come from men. So we really need to find a way to have them hear us. Really, truly hear us.

8. How do you feel about the current political climate in the world?

Tired. I feel so. fucking. tired. I saw a funny meme that was like “oh NOW White women are up in arms about the state of the world!?…welcome to the Black experience!”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled that women of all colours are now coming together and wanting to help address the big important issues stemming from inequality. But its important to acknowledge that Black women have been up in arms for a looooong time, and we’re tired. Of fighting, of explaining, of not being heard, and of constantly being pegged the “Angry Black Woman” for simply voicing our opinions. That shit has got to stop.

My hope is that through sharing our stories, and listening with open ears, compassion and empathy we can start to make some real headway on the big issues this world is facing.

 

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9. How have you used your writing as a political voice? What issues have you addressed?

I think most of my writing is quite political. The first piece I ever had published by Huffington Post was about my mom’s experience trying to hasten death in a climate that deemed it illegal. I wanted people to know how awful that experience was for her – and for me – and that so many other patients and families will still have to endure what we did under the current legislation since it doesn’t necessarily grant people like my mom the right to die because her death wasn’t “reasonably foreseeable”.

In my writing about loss and grief I seek to open the door for others to feel safe and comfortable to share their grief and honour their loss, no matter its origin. Loss and grief are not simply relegated to the realm of death – its so much broader than that. To talk about all the things we as a society like to sweep under the rug like death, grief, miscarriage, divorce, depression, loss of health, abuse, identity crises – you name it. To me that is a political act.

10. What is a coping mechanism that has helped you deal with the craziness of the news and current events?

Taking care of myself first and foremost. Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s a divine responsibility and in the midst of being bombarded with really harrowing news and images – its vital that I take the time to check in with myself and give myself what I need.

I learned the hard way that you can’t truly take care of others when your cup is empty – so I make sure I get enough rest, have support systems in place (i.e. – kickass girlfriends who #feelme), get into nature, meditate, sweat, chillax, however and whatever feels best and right for me to get grounded at the time, I do it. Then, and only then, can I start to think up solutions and hone in on how I can best be of service to others.

My caveat, is that it’s important not to get stuck in the self-care stage. You gotta get intentional and ask yourself why you’re engaging in whatever it is you’re engaging in. Don’t let yourself off the hook or trick yourself into thinking that you’re helping the world solely by taking care of yourself – you’re not. It’s a 2 part process, i.e. – how can I best care for myself SO THAT I am better equipped to care for others/the world.

11. What is one thing that you think we could do to make a difference?

Share our stories. Now, more than ever, we need to come together as a community and learn about people and perspectives that differ from our own. It can be really easy to get caught in a bubble where our views and values aren’t challenged because everyone around us is in agreement. Even Facebook just regurgitates the shit we wanna hear.

I challenge each and every one of us to get out there, find someone with a perspective/viewpoint/life experience that differs greatly from your own, and share stories with them. Help them understand why you feel and think the way you do, and be open to listening to their perspective as well.

We need more empathy and compassion and to come back to the remembrance that we are more alike than we are different. Stories allow us to humanize each other and our experiences and hopefully help raise more understanding so we can start to come together to help get where we need to be.

 

photos by Bree Sopatyk 

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Equality Is Tight with Beth Richards

March 7, 2017

Tight Club is a community of creative minds, and so we reached out to female artists in our community to participate in the first ever Tight Town Hall – Equality Is Tight. We wanted to discuss how they use their work as a voice for social change and how it can help propel a movement…

Tight Club is a community of creative minds, and so we reached out to female artists in our community to participate in the first ever Tight Town Hall – Equality Is Tight. We wanted to discuss how they use their work as a voice for social change and how it can help propel a movement and inspire people to act. Check out more about the event here.

Beth Richards is the founder and creative director of Beth Richards Swimwear. Inspired by the Bardot era of beach culture, Beth took it upon herself to change the way women feel about swimwear by challenging the world’s idea of beauty and providing confidence and empowerment “one-piece” at a time. Follow her @bethrichardsswimwear 

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1. Tell us about your career path. When did you start Beth Richards and how did the idea come about?

I moved to Vancouver for a design job and had no idea that there was a beach culture here. It was then I was faced with the “what am I going to wear” and realized just how limited the swim options were. There was a choice (even just 6 years ago) from ill-fitting/poor quality American Apparel to expensive Burberry check suits and really not much in between. It was that moment that I saw a tremendous opportunity to change attitudes around swim as a culture but also it’s design. I really wanted to elevate the current options so that it felt like a statement as much as a functional item.

2. Do you have a favourite piece that you have designed? Why?

Most of my faves are the ones that are never commercially successful which is funny to me. They include this seasons Loren suit that has a flamenco type sleeve, the one shoulder-padded Audrey from a couple of seasons past. I have a few in the works that will likely push these ones aside.

3. What does “equality” mean to you?

Equality means that men, women, people of different colours, countries and faith are treated all the SAME. When I read that back now this day in 2017, it seems like a very basic concept and the fact that white men for the most part control the world is heartbreaking.

 

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4. Being a female artist and entrepreneur, what obstacles have you had to overcome?

I would say first and foremost is being taken seriously. When going to the banks etc etc needing help or asking for things. Too often women are categorized as being bitches if they are assertive in decision making or negotiating.

I’m lucky to be in an industry with a lot of women around me so I’m sure I am lucky in many ways as well.

5. Any piece of advice that has helped you that you would pass on to other girls/women?

Don’t take no for an answer, everything is negotiable.

6. What are you inspired by right now?

You know in all honesty this was a tough season to get through. I’m not going to lie I was (and in some ways still am) in a state of despair after the US election wondering just how it all happened that we are further from my core values as ever. Although I’m lucky to live in Canada the wave of uncertainty and protectionism and nationalism is around the world is real. The only choice I had was to breathe in negative and push out positive. So I would say I’m inspired by ACTION.

beth outside7. What scares you?

There are so many things to fear today. As a white woman of course I have it better than many but to think things can get worse in such a short period of time is frightening. That minority groups feel, and are, less safe now. That such ugliness has been somehow normalized. That young women will likely have more unwanted advances by men who think they are worth less/property. That all our rights and privileges are on the brink of being taken away.

All that might sound dramatic but I can’t believe we got here. That the world is so greedy and imbalanced and that the majority still pretend to be “God” fearing people. I can’t believe decency may be a thing of the past.

8. How do you feel about the current political climate in the world?

Clearly not optimistic. But I try every day to get through it. I often feel I should be doing more, that there is more frivolity in my work compared to many who are suffering.

I really hope that generations to come will be able to innovate and create bridges and that there is a bright light out there ready for the world stage.

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9. How have you used your art as a voice? What issues have you addressed?

At the end of the day I am trying to do whatever I can to create change. Whether it’s helping women feel better about what they see in the mirror or to raise money for planned parenthood I’m trying. This collection was inspired by women and they will always be my ultimate muse.

Accepting our bodies imperfections and all, as sensual as they are, as nurturing as they are. It’s this effort too that we must re-shape how the world sees us, and our bodies. That no, as much (we love) and have the same time in a day as Beyonce, most women have a very hard time living up to those standards. That this body is armour. And that no one can take the power of this body away from us, no matter how hard they try. No one would be on this planet without the power of a woman’s body and mind.

10. What is a coping mechanism that has helped you deal with the craziness of the news and current events?

Gratitude has played a huge role. I certainly remind myself DAILY of what I have and why I cannot take this opportunity for granted. I often meditate and breathe deeply. Light candles, listen to classical music, and look to the universe, and my heart and gut to guide me. During these dark times I turn to light and love.

11. What is one thing that you think we could do to make a difference?

Resist. We need to unify and use our voices now more than ever. Vote, be present, protest what is not right because as we have learned with a blink of an eye progress could be at stake.

 

photos by Bree Sopatyk