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ART REVEALING THE GUNFIRE EPIDEMIC.
MAKE A BOX. SEND IT IN. IT COUNTS.

Goal:10,000 in June. How many Soul Boxes do you have? 

We're over a third of the way into June and it appears we're not even close to making our 10,000 goal, but we know you’re out there making Soul Boxes! 
If you've been folding Soul Boxes, email your current count and we’ll add your Boxes to our running total. We don't need to physically receive them in June to count toward the month's goal, just fold them this month. We have a steep hill to climb as the gunfire deaths and injuries so far this year are already up to 30,046.
A note from Founder Leslie Lee:

From the very beginning of this Project the idea has been to show the numbers of gunfire victims in the U.S. - to make massive exhibits too big to ignore. Powerful visuals speak to our emotions and emotions are what drive us to action: to lock up guns, attend a safety class, talk to kids about anger management, write our reps or join an advocacy group or become ARTivists. The Soul Box Project is designed to have everyone concerned - from the pro-gun to the no-gun - respond with a big emotional "ah-ha" moment when individuals are moved to DO something. 

In order for this piece of community ARTivism to have that impact we need the numbers - thousands and thousands of Soul Boxes. We want to take 200,000+ to the National Mall, but what will keep us going? How, in the face of the daily death tolls, do we keep on keeping on?

One way is to remember that a bit of levity can go a long way towards reviving flagging spirits.  I recently found this quote from the book Rethinking Ethics in the Midst of Violence by Linda A Bell.

" While play is vital to those trying to free themselves and others from seriousness ... play may accomplish more than simply helping them avoid burnout and despair. Not only does play offer a way to achieve distance from the seriously held oppressive values of the status quo, but it also enables those who play to glimpse, at least momentarily, a kingdom of ends where the freedom of everyone is acknowledged and where oppressive hierarchies are undone. Even though it has limited potential as a revolutionary strategy, play is nevertheless enormously important." 

And so we invite you to play a bit.  A couple of videos we posted recently, and our lighter approach to a serious goal of 10,000 Boxes this month, show The Soul Box Project at play. These are reminders that even though the Project's reason for being is tragic, we can persevere better by smiling while we work.

Join the conversation about the fine line between relief in levity and disrespect on our closed Facebook group Soul Box Community. Joining is easy - just ask.
~ Leslie 

Share your Soul Box Success Story

First Congregational United Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon has been a Soul Box supporter since December 2017. To re-energize their members, they’ve committed to folding 1,000 Soul Boxes in June! Their goal is to fill an empty display case in the lobby before delivering them to the Soul Box workspace.

As of June 2, they’d already collected 146 Soul Boxes, including a full set of Boxes for the victims in the Virginia Beach shooting. The next week, the total number of Boxes edged up to 216.
Each Sunday members of the congregation drop off bags of Soul Boxes they've folded during the week. Pre-cut paper is always available to take home and many people fold during the after-service social hour. And, no, those totals aren’t reflected in the barometer (yet).

So what about YOUR Soul Boxes? How are you making them and with whom? Don’t forget to send us photos as well. We’d love to share your inspiring stories.

Watch our website and social media for updates, photos and more. 

Motivate your Peeps!

How are you motivating the people around you to help us meet the 10,000 Box Challenge? Maybe you can capitalize on the energy of Wear Orange Weekend (like this one in Seattle). We even have some great fliers you can hand out. Use them to get more people folding. Go retro by printing them out and tacking them up on bulletin boards. Share them with your organizations.

Please keep folding! If you are on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter show us your progress by posting a picture of you and your Soul Boxes with the hashtag #SoulBoxChallenge before sending them in or dropping them off.

Gun Violence Awareness Month Continues
at our Workspace

For supporters in the Portland, Oregon area, we have lots of events planned at our Soul Box workspace during Gun Violence Awareness Month. Join us in the Multnomah Arts Center, Cottages 1 & 2, 7740 SW Capitol Hwy. Portland, OR 97219 across the street from Starbucks.  (Currently not wheelchair accessible.)*

You can also drop in any time this month from 10 am - 4 pm, Monday- Friday, to fold Soul Boxes. Open until 9 pm on Mondays for the week's Marathon.

Here's the latest event to be added to the schedule...

Men's Marathon Madness!

Who needs ball games on TV when we’ve got Men’s Marathon Madness? The final Marathon Monday, June 24, the Soul Box All-Stars will challenge the Marathon Men.
 
The Soul Box All-Stars includes anyone who folds Boxes from 10 am - 6 pm. The Marathon Men includes any male who comes to fold Boxes from 6 – 9 pm. Who will fold the most Soul Boxes?

Drop in. No need to reserve a spot.

There's still one Marathon Monday before the madness begins. Stop by to hone your skills on Monday, June 17. We need lots of participation to hold space for the 100 people who are shot every day. Paper and folding supplies will be stocked and ready for you. Doors will be open from 10 am – 9 pm, with volunteers available to help newcomers learn to fold Soul Boxes.

More Awareness Month Events

Collage with artist Poppy Dully. Use collage to express your message or honor a victim on your Soul Box. During the evening session, source images from magazines and other places.  The next morning sift through the images and words to create unique Soul Boxes.

Collage content search, Thursday, June 27, 6 - 8 pm. Personalize Soul Boxes with collage, Friday, June 28, 10 am - noon. Attend one session or both. RSVP appreciated
 
Boxes and a Book. Join us for a special book discussion about An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago by Alex Kotlowitz. So often our attention goes to the mass shootings in the news. Fold Soul Boxes and discuss this thoughtful book about the reality of living in some of Chicago’s toughest neighborhoods — the places where they have the motto, “Sun’s out. Guns out.” Nonfiction. 

Wednesday, June 26, 6-8 pm. Please RSVP.
Watch our website and social media for more information. More events will be added during the month, as well. We look forward to seeing you and hearing from you if you are not in the Portland area.

*Presently the workspace building is not accessible to wheelchairs. Although we have a ramp leading up the workspace, there is a 6-inch barrier on the ground. In August, the workspace will close to be updated to full ADA accessibility by the Multnomah Arts Center.

Soul Box Tools for Participation.
There are lots of ways to bring Soul Boxes to your
community activities.
Here is guide to what's on our website.

Other Upcoming Events here
Missed a past newsletter? Find them here.
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Contact links not working with your mail program? Email us at info@SoulBoxProject.org.

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Use #soulboxproject and @soulboxproject
when you post to your own media feeds. 

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