Meet Leah Gregg. One of the most compassionate, caring, and driven people I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years. Leah is, again, someone who was not a stranger to me before we met for coffee but simply someone I really thought you should meet.
We met for this 500 Coffees at the JJ Bean in the Marine Building, a really wonderful space contained within one of my favourite heritage buildings in the city.
We talked about the neighbourhood we both live in (Southeast False Creek), about her past work cutting her teeth with and for the Union Gospel Mission and her current work with local agency, Rethink. She dropped an Awesome Bomb on me when she told me about a photography workshop that she co-facilitates at UGM called PHOTO 101 (yes, the logo is on her t-shirt). For 6 weeks they “venture out on a photowalk in a neighbourhood, which many people around the world consider to be a ghetto, slum or skid-row. A place to avoid. A place to be scared of. The neighbourhood is full of heartache, addictions and atrocities. But it is also full of beauty, hope and community. In the DTES, you’ll see selfless acts of camaraderie and love that will move you.”. They shoot 120 format film on Holga cameras and bring in the results each week, helping men working through addiction recovery to discover art and see the beauty in their surroundings. Each year they put on an exhibition with all of the works. It’s really quite something; it inspires me to see creative people like Leah bringing good to our neighbourhoods.
And stay tuned for 436 more Coffees! Check out the caffeinated archive HERE.