Frank Warren’s PostSecret

March 2013 030One of the things I love most about living near a college campus is the abundance of free lectures, films, concerts, etc. There’s always something to do and new ideas to explore. In the past several weeks, we’ve attended lectures on topics as diverse as Kim Bostwick’s “Evolution Revealed: How to evolve a seductive musical instrument from feathers,” to a presentation by highly acclaimed civil rights layer, advocate and New York Times best-selling author Michelle Alexander about the mass incarceration of African American males in the supposed age of colorblindness.

Last night we braved the cold and walked to Union South to see Frank Warren speak as part of the Distinguished Lecture Series. Frank Warren is the founder of PostSecret, a community mail art project that encourages people from around the world to anonymously mail very personal and creatively decorated postcards to give voice to a close-guarded secret. Since 2005, Frank has collected more than a half-million postcards, which he displays on his blog.

Frank’s presentation was entertaining and interesting. He talked about how he started the project (handing out postcards to strangers on the streets of DC) and how giving voice to a secret can break down walls in your life and empower and inspire both you and those who receive it—and just the idea that life can be tough, but we’re all in it together. He shared his favorite post cards, as well as those that were banned from being included in his books by his publisher. He also talked about his efforts to increase awareness and conversation around suicide prevention, a cause near and dear to his heart. Finally, Frank offered audience members a chance to step up to the mic and let go of their own secrets. It was very emotional, but the audience rallied around each person courageous enough to step up and bare their soul.

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