I was lucky enough to grow up with Geoffrey Holder playing a significant role in my childhood. How could he not? Physically and personally he was so gigantic in life, especially to a child. Even after I’d moved away from NYC, I’d run into him walking the streets of his neighborhood and he’d remember me, calling out my name over the traffic and noise in SoHo near his loft. This advice to kids is advice for us all. We should never stop asking “what?” and “why?”

I recently read someone describe a neighborhood as “a place where someone feels some human sense of belonging, a human sense of being part of a society.” So, as my mind is on my neighborhood now, I can’t help but wonder how Geoffrey’s advice for children can be advice for us all. By asking “what?” and “why?” as often as possible of our own place and sense of place, how can we move towards that “sense of human belonging” that defines a neighborhood?

It cannot simply be achieved through policy – safer streets, access to good food, etc… Though certainly those considerations play a big part, we can’t arrive at them till we endeavor to ask one another “what?” and “why?” But how? How do we arrive at that space of questioning in a productive, inclusive way that begins outside of a space crisis? Prior to the notion of a “problem that needs to be fixed”? – Sam