Canada Welcomed Delta Flight Borderless

On 9/11, Canada Welcomed Delta Flight 15 With Open Arms

This is what happens when empathy conquers ignorance.

It was 9/11, 2001 and Delta Flight 15 was on its way home to the US from Germany when it got the call to land immediately. The closest airport was Gander, somewhere in Canada. They landed along with 37 other planes who’d received the same alert and started playing the waiting game. The travelers were just stuck in the terminal, confused and worried.

What they didn’t expect was that Gander and the surrounding area – called Lewisporte (with a population barely larger than the number of stranded plane passengers) – would come to the rescue. In comfort and style, no less. Lewisporte shut down all schools and public places to make time and space for the travelers. They fed them, offered laundry and medical services, and even took folks out to tour the town.

 

Gander residents feed Flight 115
Gander residents feed Flight 115. Source: Wikipedia

 

When it was time to leave, Shirley Brooks-Jones, a passenger from Flight 15, remembers: “Everybody was crying. I mean, the men and the women, I mean, the passengers, the little kids. We didn’t want to leave, you know?”

Shirley was so moved that she decided to start an education fund right there at the departure gate. She named it the Lewisporte Flight 15 Scholarship Fund, and all proceeds would be used to send Lewisporte students to college and trade schools. That day, in the terminal, they raised more than $15,000. Now, it has raised upwards of 2 million. The fund has radically changed the future for local students, many of whom were dropping out of school. Now, several students are doctors or on their way to getting PhDs.

This story is a solid reminder that no matter how overwhelming the world might feel sometimes, we all share something profound – the experience of being human.

 

Flight passengers staying in a Gander gymnasium
Flight passengers staying in a Gander gymnasium for the night. Photo: Scott Cook / Canadian Press

 

Movement Art Borderless

‘Movement Art Is’ Believes Performance is the Antidote for Anger

These two guys are dancing their way into a more inclusive world.

Movement Art Is (MAI) knows that performance art is a universal language that connects folks on a plane beyond geography, origin, or background. This organization—founded by two guys who’ve been dancing since they were small—pushes the boundaries of what performance can be through classes, performances, films, and exhibitions. They call it ‘resetting the spectrum of what dance can be’, integrating educational and social impact into their movement.

MAI Co-founders Jon Boogz and Lil Buck, who have collective experience working with the likes of Madonna and the TriBeCa film festival, believe their art form is an important method of promoting empathy and starting difficult conversations.

“The whole premise behind Movement Art Is is to use dance to inspire positive change in the world,” says Boogz. “We really believe dance is not just entertainment—we believe it is a tool to break down social-economic boundaries.”

 

 

For them, dance is not only about technical mastery, it’s also about true artistic expression.

“The power of dance—what it can do, how it can unify us… it can be a tool that helps to change the world. A lot of the time when people see our work, even if you’re not a fan of dance you can relate to the narrative, the story, the message, the social issue that we’re trying to address,” says Boogz.

Boogz and Lil Buck travel the world to spread their message, including a TED performance called Honor Thy Mother—a multimedia piece in homage to our Earth—and the performance of a piece a few feet away from the US-Mexico border.

“When you have talent it becomes more than just a gift, it becomes a responsibility,” Lil Buck told Splinter News.

 

 

Feature image: Alexa Meade Art Youtube.

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