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  • March for Our Lives in Photos

    A gallery of photos from Saturday’s “March for Our Lives,” one of the largest student-driven protests in U.S. history, is now up on my website here. You also can see a larger gallery of photos on my Facebook page here.

    Crowd estimates ranged from 200,000 to 850,000 as students, parents, and activists of all ages and from across the U.S. and Canada jammed Pennsylvania Avenue and side streets from 3rd to 12th Avenue.

    The Washington, D.C., event was the largest of 800 marches across the country spearheaded by a group of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and staff were killed by a gunman in February. The march came on the heels of a nationwide student walkout earlier this month; a second walkout is planned on April 20, the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School.

    #marchforourlives #washingtondc #StonemanDouglas #rally#guncontrol #photography #eventphotography


    Given the attention around the March for Our Lives and the students’ determination to make changes, I thought I’d make one last plug for my featured artist photo exhibit, “The Resilience Project,” on display through Saturday in the Arches Gallery (Building 9) at the Workhouse Arts Center.

    "The Resilience Project" includes 28 of my photos and 10 taken by students at Holmes Middle School in Annandale. It is on display from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Stop by and take a look if you get the chance! You can see and read more about the show by going to

  • Come Together: Right Now!

    My wife’s words rang through my head, at times louder than the music: “Damn those stigmas.”

    As parents of a child who has mental health issues, one of our largest fears is that she will use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate. Mental health and substance abuse are linked in another way, through the stigmas that prevent many people from talking about them openly and publicly — as the illnesses they are, not just the poor choices we make.

    A new organization, Facing Addiction, is working to change that perception. And they took a huge step Sunday with UNITE to Face Addiction, a five-hour rally and concert that drew thousands from across the U.S. to the National Mall Sunday in Washington, D.C.

    Described as the first of its kind, the rally featured a terrific lineup of performers who cut across genres and generations. Featured were Steven Tyler, Sheryl Crow, Joe Walsh, Jason Isbell, The Fray, John Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls, Jonathan Butler and Tommy Sims, who wrote “Change the World.” All have faced substance abuse issues or been affected by someone close who faced addiction.

    The audience, a vast majority of them recovering addicts or people who had lost a loved one, slowly grew throughout the damp and dreary day. Many carried signs with pictures of loved ones who had been lost to addiction; others were there because they are in long-term recovery. They cheered each of the artists, but individual songs or performers brought many to tears, especially when The Fray — a personal highlight, along with Isbell — performed “How to Save a Life.”

    Facing Addiction, a recently formed organization that has been working to focus attention on the cause, organized the rally. Officials with the organization say addiction affects one in three households and 85 million people in the U.S. It also cuts across all class, socioeconomic, and racial lines.

    Among the speakers: U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy; Michael Botticelli, a recovering addict who now is director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; and syndicated talk-show host and surgeon Mehmet Oz. Others included Emmy Award-winning actress Allison Janney, whose role in the sitcom “Mom” drew loud cheers; and former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who is battling a family legacy of substance abuse and mental illness.

    The biggest piece of news at the event was when Murthy, surrounded by three of his top staff, announced that his office has commissioned the first-ever Surgeon General’s report on alcoholism and addiction.

    And the numbers are there to justify it: Overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in people under 50. Stigma or not, that is a sobering fact.

    Damn those stigmas.

    For individual galleries of the performers, go to the Performances section. For a photographic overview of the event, go to my Facebook photo page.