THE BAND OF 2017

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Bill Kent

Bill Kent has been in the music business for almost 40 years.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, entertainer, producer, manager, arranger, promoter are some of the many hats Bill has worn over the years.

From his early involvement with high school bands and musicals to a worldwide tour with internationally famous Music and Education group “Up With People” Bill has been fortunate to be part of many rewarding projects.

Bill and his wife Janine formed their own band “Double Exposure” in 1983 and performed more than 5000 shows over their 30 years together including radio airplay for several of their recordings.

Bill helped to co-write and produce his daughter Lynzie Kent’s first 2 albums.

With his co-workers at Air Canada, their group “Airborne 11” was winners of the television show “Canada Sings” which resulted in a $10000 donation to Ronald McDonald House in Toronto.

In 2013, Bill became involved with unioNation, a musical project of the IAM to write and promote new Union music.

Bill is happy to be back with unioNation and is thankful for the opportunity to work with another group of talented individuals.

Note from Henry, Bill is an amazing arranger, writer, singer, and friend. This week would not be possible without his expertise and help. Thank you, Bill.

Billy Broughton

I was born and raised in Rockford Illinois but my roots are southern.

Mother Helen and Father Warren moved north from Arkansas for work in the early 1950’s. Music has always been a part of my life.

My father played guitar and along with my mother they wrote and sang gospel songs. I picked up the guitar when I was about nine years old and as I got decent enough to play songs I knew it would be something I would do for as long as I could.

I told a friend of my brothers who also play guitar that I was going to be a songwriter when I grow up, of course, they both laughed. The older I got the more musically passionate I became. I joined (NSAI) Nashville Songwriters Association International sending songs for critiques.

In 1993 I performed in a national competition on the stage of the grand ole opry. Out of 112 contestants, I placed 28th and was in encouraged by the people in charge that I should consider moving to Nashville because they like the songs I write.

At that point in my life, I was married with a nine-year-old son and a job in a factory that was IAM. I couldn’t just uproot my family so I continued writing songs. I got involved as a steward then became a committeeman, then elected to the negotiating committee and was asked to be the Secretary-Treasurer at our Local 1553.

I had heard about the union putting a band together and was accepting original songs. I had a song titled “What the Hell Happened to the USA” I was asked by my Business Representative to send it in.

In April of the next year, I was appointed to Business Representative. I got to attend the IAM’s 125 Anniversary in Atlanta, Georgia where I jammed with some of the members of unioNation® band after getting to hear them perform. I was definitely more interested.

After I returned from Atlanta, I started writing labor songs. With an idea I got from a Business Rep while I was at W3 in conversation he said he has the best job in the world because every day he gets to “go help somebody”. I told him I was a songwriter and stopped the conversation and typed that phrase in my phone.

Once back home I wrote the song “Let’s Go Help Somebody” and sent a copy to Henry Bagwell and Henry played it for IP Buffenbarger and it got played at the Guide Dogs Convention in Las Vegas.

That sparked me to pursue writing labor songs and as of now I have 12 labor songs and am proud to have been asked to be part of the next chapter of unioNation®.

Many of the songs you will hear tonight are written by Billy. 

Mack McKinney

I was born and raised in the Baltimore Maryland area. My initial musical training began in the Baltimore School District. I started with the clarinet and a year later moved over to the Trombone. For three years I was the Drum Major for the Edmondson High School Marching Band. I played trombone in the Baltimore City all city band for three years while in high school and one year with the Baltimore Colts Marching band. While in High School I was invited to attend a summer music program at the University of West Virginia for gifted students. I entered the US Army in 1971 one of my assignments was the US Army Band in Kaiserslautern Germany. My military assignment included Germany and Korea. After my honorable discharge from the Army in 1977, I settled in San Antonio, Texas. I am a Vietnam era veteran who was lucky enough not to be sent to Vietnam.

In San Antonio, I made my living in Car Sales and Real Estate while playing with some of the local bands as a singer and instrumentalist. I started with Southwest Airlines October 1996 and became a member of the IAMAW at that time. Union positions have included Local Lodge Shop Steward, Trustee and Vice President for 10 years. Currently, I am the EAP coordinator for my Local Lodge. I have completed all of the leadership schools, EAP I II and III. I am scheduled to complete the EAP IV class next year.

I give full credit for my musical credits to My High School music teacher Mr. Harry Ruder. He encouraged me to branch out from the Trombone to learn other instruments and to take chances. 

Brad Seefried

Ziggy lives in Nanaimo, B.C., Canada with his lovely wife Joanie and studio dog Duke.

Ziggy is a Union Steward with Local Lodge 1857, District 250.

His free time is spent playing music with his band Minetown Band. They have been performing at any Labour function that will have them. They are known as unioNation® of the northwest.

They played at the past Labour Day Council 250 picnic. Ziggy is always promoting unioNation® to help take the agenda away from the self-important Blue Fist!

Note from Henry. Ziggy is also the soundman for the unioNation® band. When not performing tonight, he will be at the controls. Ziggy is passionate about promoting the unioNation® Band and we are as good as we are because of his dedication, endless energy, and passion. Thanks, Brother.

Corbett Smith

Corbett is the Chief Steward for Federal Lodge 2109 in New York. Although not a musician, documenting the journey unioNation® takes is a vital component of the band. Corbett is a photographer with some crazy skills and volunteered to spend the week at Winpisinger and document the experience.

He started his photography skills while in the Navy and has honed his skills for the last 16 years. All of the documentation will make its way to the IAM archives at Georgia State University.

Corbett has a studio in Central Square New York. Thanks Brother for all you have done for the band.

Dannette Jones

Dannette A. Jones, President Local Lodge 1919, USDA Forest Service, Washington, DC.

Lead singer, backup singer, and lyricist. Singing since yeah high to a grasshopper in church and continues to use God’s gift for kingdom building. Member of the Washington DC Labor Choir.

Dannette is following in the footsteps of her mother as a Pastor at her church.

Dave Riggs

I grew up in a musical family and started playing trumpet at 10-years-old, guitar at 11, and piano at 21. I first played professionally (paid) at 14. And, I jumped at the chance to play anytime/anywhere, from the trumpet in concert band and orchestra in junior high thru college, to guitar in jazz ensembles in high school thru college. I joined the Local Federation of Musicians 1974. I played guitar and piano in a band professionally traveling over the country until 2005, and I was honored to play for troops in USO tours for the DOD in 2000. Now, I play and record at home and play organ with the praise & worship team at my church.

I played piano, organ, and harmonica with a group first called “Hired Guns”. Our third album had really good regional success and the band name was changed to “Darryl Cole and the New Country Revolution”, or NCR for short. Had a top 40 hits with a song “Tail Gate Party”(in the Walmart parking lot). Also a remake of Leo Sayers’ “I Love You More Than I Can Say”. That brought the attention of another agency that put us on some USO tours.

I joined Machinists Union, IAM Local 643, in 1982, and Machinists Union, IAM District 19, Local Lodge 457, in 2005. I was elected LL457 Recording Secretary in 2007 and appointed Local Chairman in 2008. Our local has grown from 10 to 28 members thru employer workforce increase.

Donalyn Joi Goodloe

Donalyn is a Union Steward for Local Lodge 778 in Kansas City, Mo.

I’ve always enjoyed singing and began at a very young age. My parents never pushed me and supported me in any effort (musically) I made. My Mother sent me to a College professor in the 7th grade where I was introduced to classical music.

In high school I competed in district and state competitions and was in various talent shows joining a group named “Swing Singers”. In college, I was in the choir but decided I needed to try different styles of music. I joined a local band and sang lead as well as a backup.

This is where I met my husband which was and still is my drummer. I have sung with many bands but the majority have been Rock and Roll, Country, and Blues.

Some accomplishments:

Performed at a hot air balloon show

Opening band for T. Graham Brown

Back-up singer for Elvis impersonator for 5 years

Song the song “Up in Smoke” with Tommy Chong

 

My inspirations are Barbra Streisand, Carole King, Anita Baker, Adele, and Reba.

I always try to sing according to the saying, “expose your heart, only then can you connect with your audience at the deepest level”.

Dustin Fountain

I have played the drums my entire life. As a child, I would beat on Kentucky Fried Chicken buckets, and paint cans. When I was old enough, I got my first summer job and earned the money to buy my first drum set. I never looked back! In my junior year in High School, I was finally added to the music program as a bass drummer in the marching band. The following year I was moved up to Lead Snare in the Marching Band, I also became a member of the Jazz Band as the 3rd Chair Trap Set Drummer. By the end of the year, I was moved to 1st Chair in the Jazz Band.

At the age of 21, I began to perform at “Open-Mic Nights” every chance I got. In doing that I was learning many different musical styles and techniques. During this time I also went to work as an usher for “Bill Graham Presents” at The Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View, California, exposing me to a lot of great music. I did that for a few years until I received a job opportunity at a ski area in Colorado.

In Colorado, I found a band that was in need of a drummer: “Joe Dynaflo & The Whitewall Flyers.” We played clubs in the ski towns of the Colorado mountains, as well as in the Denver area. We had a good run until various members had to give up the band and I moved back to California for a couple of years.

I returned to Colorado in the spring of 1995. That summer I met a few musicians at a party and ended up as the drummer of the Kool Whips. Playing with the Kool Whips at a festival, I was asked to sit in with a group of musicians to cover for a band that didn’t show, and Keyed Angel was born.

In November 1999 I hired on with United Airlines and had to move down the mountain to Denver. That’s when I became an IAM member. After playing many shows in the Denver area, Keyed Angel disbanded. I moved on to become a member of The Bottom Feeders, then joined southern rock band Colorado Southern. I honed my skills playing many venues in the Denver area.

Finally, at United, a full-time position opened up in San Francisco at SFO so I decided it was time to move back to the bay area. Arriving in California, I knew I wanted to continue my musical career, and found classic rock/disco band Groove Fusion, which was a lot of fun.

These days I play in a variety classic rock dance band called “The Uptown Six” out of Hayward California. (www.theuptownsix.com) these guys I play with now are the most talented, friendly, and family loving band with which I’ve enjoyed playing. They are behind me 100% in the stuff I do for my union, as well as in my personal life.

I look forward to being a part of UnioNation, and I’m very proud to be an active member of my union. My father, my uncle, my brother, and I are all IAM members, with a legacy stretching back to 1959. Solidarity Forever! For the Union makes us Strong!!!

Ed Pavon

My journey starts off in the 70s when classic rock and disco ruled the airways. When fashion, fun, and free-living were in their purest forms. I have to say that Carlos Santana, Jimmy Hendrix, and Jimmy Page were beginning to show me what places the guitar could take me to. You see my dad, Eddie Pavon Sr., was also a guitar player. I would listen to and watch my dad jam with my uncles and their friends at apartment parties, and it looked like the coolest thing ever! It all started to spark my interest in wanting to play the guitar too. By the time I was 9 years old, my dad must have finally got tired of me interrupting his practice sessions and bought me my first acoustic guitar. I used to bang on the guitar strings of his guitar while he was practicing. And though I was probably bothering him at the time, he probably didn’t realize how much of a musical impact he was having on me wanting to learn how to play guitar myself. Heck, I didn’t think I even knew that at the time either! But what I did know, was that I loved the sounds of music and the guitar appealed to me most.

My dad had a suitcase full of sheet music in the basement and it had an old flimsy lock on it that I learned to pick and got to his sheet music. I started learning to read the music notation and tablature in relation to the sounds playing on the record player and tape deck. It was the start of something totally new besides banging on the strings. It taught me how to listen and pull the sounds from my head to the paper and I’m still learning today!

I’ve gone on quite a musical journey myself, jamming with neighborhood friends to accomplished artists and I feel truly blessed to have met and played with the people I have. It still makes me happy to know that there are many musicians and artists out there that feel the same way about music. It seems like only yesterday that I learned to tune the guitar and every time I hit the strings, something new comes out I didn’t notice before. Though I cannot say that I am a master of any sorts, I can say that I am a lifelong student of the guitar by now. Instrumental music has appealed to me the most of all the styles I’ve heard over the years and artists such as Joe Satriani and Guthrie Govan have become my teachers in taking the guitar to new places. With that, I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Union Nation Music Program, and cannot wait to get there in October!

George and Carol Tindall

George and Carol Tindall: Member of American Federation of Musicians, Local Number 401-750 in Lebanon, PA. In the 60’s George was a member of the band, Jay and the Techniques (“Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie”). His current band, “The Headliners,” is one of the best known and consistently booked bands in the mid-Atlantic region.

George plays the bass guitar and sing. Carol sings, plays percussions and keeps George in line. This is her toughest job.

George and Carol are new grandparents to Amy Tindall (parents not important anymore).

Jeffery Jasper

Jeffery is a member of Federal Lodge IAM/NFFE 1919.

Jeffrey is a native of Biloxi, Mississippi and has a passion for music. His love of music was nurtured by his mother, which inspired him to major in music education at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. Though “classically trained” on piano, Jeffrey plays all genres of music; mainly gospel and jazz. Jeffrey mainly uses his gifts and talents in the church; however, he has also participated in many community musicals, school productions, and other musically-oriented programs –with his latest being unioNation®. He counts it an honor to have been a part of this project and able to collaborate with the awesome talent within IAM.

Jimmy Neureuther

Jimmy Neureuther is Chief Steward at the Ingersoll Rand plant in Buffalo, NY. He plays guitar, drums and a pretty mean harmonica, in addition to being a singer/songwriter, He is married to Valerie, and has 2 grown children. He has been playing music on and off, since the age of 7, and is currently writing songs to release on cd.

Joe Pepe Oulahan

Pepe is the Conductor/Sentinel, Educator, and Union Steward for United Lodge 66 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has been a proud member of the IAM for 18 years.

Pepe is a great admirer of the early folk singers connected to our labor movement such as Woody Guthrie and Joe Hill. He feels as they did that music as an integral part of any social justice movement and that it can be used as a tool to educate and organize. He is committed to helping to bring that idea forward.

Many of Pepe’s songs were originally inspired by the extremist attacks on Unions in his state brought on by the election of Scott Walker as governor in 2011. Since that time he has worked with many in a valiant effort to resist and change the political oppression of the working people of Wisconsin.

Pepe was to be part of the original band but could not participate. His original song, Long Road, is one of the songs on the first unioNation® CD. Pepe is a prolific songwriter and several of his songs will be featured tonight.

Linda Manekas

Linda is the Librarian and Warehouse Manager at the Winpisinger Center. She is a member of Local Lodge 193.

Linda is a songwriter and poet. She wrote the lyrics to the song “We are the IAM” from the original unioNation® band and CD. She wrote the lyrics to the song named “Shout It Out” on the new CD.

Henry’s note: Linda is gifted in so many ways I have lost count. Linda does not get in front of the audience or toot her horn so I will. The unioNation® band is lucky and honored to have her continued support and talents. Thank you, Linda.

Mark Pietrofere

Originally from Long Island N.Y. Mark worked 24 years for Northwest Airlines (represented by the IAM). In 2003 he began working with Lockheed Martin in Marietta, Georgia. He has been there for the past 13 years. Mark is an IAM Union Representative on the Local 709 Senior Negotiating Committee. He has resided in Fayetteville, Georgia with his wife Gail and three children since 1992.

Mark has been playing drums for over 44 years. Drums have always been his passion, His many drum styles, and techniques; have landed him much work playing drums. He is currently working with three separate bands, and also a church band on Sunday’s. He has worked in music studios over the years, recording with many musicians. He is truly the foundation of the great groove that a band strives for. His exciting play and versatile drum style is powerful enough to bring a crowd to its feet.

Michael Reilly

The first time I can remember getting into music I was about 10 years old. I was at a cousin’s birthday party when she received KISS’s Destroyer album as a gift. My eyes widen and I asked if that was the new KISS record. She looked at me and handed it over “I don’t even like these guys. You can have it “.I had never heard a song of theirs before; I was drawn to the image. But, once I listen to the first notes of Detroit Rock City, I was hooked. Ever since then I wanted to be a rock star.

However since life is life, it didn’t quite turn out that way.

Growing up my mother would listen to country music and Elvis on her old JCPenny turntable, the one that was inside the cabinet. I am more of a “head banging” music lover but, I do enjoy just about all kinds of music including classic rock, punk, Motown, hip-hop, R&B. I can listen to a playlist that goes from KISS to Ramones to Rihanna to Slipknot to Public Enemy to Martha Ray and the Vandellas to, well you get the point.

The first time I picked up a bass I was around 13, 14 years old. I’d seen it in the JCPenny catalog, it was a combo pack with a black Harmony bass and a 15-watt Strandling combo amp for about $80. My mom promised to pay the tax if I saved up for it. It took me 2 months but I got it. I had a friend in school that was learning guitar, so we formed a “band”. We called ourselves Saturn II. We were awful! But my friend taught me how to read tabs. After that, I didn’t really play. It’s been the last 10 years that I’ve been playing more.

I am currently in a hard rock band called Uproars Revenge with my good friend and a very talented guitar player. Ed Pavon. I consider Ed my very own instructor. He has helped me improve my playing quite a bit the last few years.
I guess that’s it in a nutshell. I might not be the best bass player, but I’ll give it the best I’ve got.

Michael Wiegert

Below is a list of bands I have played with over the years.

Illusions – Rock band – 1968 – Lincoln, Nebraska

Red Rockers – 1969 – Golden Colorado

Revelation – Rock band – 1970 – 1971 – Lincoln, Nebraska

DMT – Rock – 1971-1972 – Lincoln, Nebraska

Fairfax – 1972 – 1973 – Lincoln, Nebraska – Weekend Tour

Stryder – 1973 – 1974 – Des Moines, IA – Midwest Tour

Cross – Heavy Metal – 1975 – 1976 – Midwest Tour

Hitchcock Road Band – Rapid City, SD – 1976

Stormin Normin Dance Band – Hard Rock – 1977 – 1978

Thunderbird – Rock – 1979

Units – Punkish Rock – Omaha, Nebraska -1979

Rockin Horse – Rock – 80’s – KC MI – Midwest Tour

Cassandra – Heavy Hard Rock – 80’s – Midwest Tozr

Retired to Studio Recording – later 80’s thru 90’s

Forgotten Soul – Rock – 1999 – 2001 – Lincoln, Nebraska

Slyde Brothers – Blues – 2001 – 2004 – Lincoln, Nebraska

Blues Project – Hard Drivin’ Blues – 2005 – Current – Lincoln, Nebraska

BADGE – Rock – 2011 – 2014 – Lincoln

Hill Rose – Rock – 2015 – Currently Forming

Over the years I have jammed or opened with musicians from Wishbone, Jimmy Thackery, Curtis Salgado, Kenny Neil, Head East, Argent, and original members of REO Speedwagon.

Shelly Cooper

My biography is something like this: Shelley Edelen Cooper has been a NFFE member for 22 years and an officer for 18. Now retired, she still serves as a resource, trainer, and backup for Federal Local 2052 with Boise District Bureau of Land Management. Shelley sang her first solo at the age of 3 and has been part of choruses her whole life. UnioNation is a wonderful opportunity to share with other unionists and continue a long tradition of spreading the word about worker’s rights to the world.

I can’t remember which year it was back in the 90’s, but I did win second place in the North American Welsh Eisteddfod in the women’s division. Not really a soloist, though, I prefer choral singing.

I sang at the Lincoln Center Avery Fisher Hall with 300 others to celebrate Charles Wesley’s birthday (we were a bunch of Methodist).

I had never written a song, never made up my own harmony/descant, never jammed, and never recorded a track. I did all those things for the first time with the original unioNation. So I can say I will try most anything musically now. But let me tell you what I do really well. I have a good voice, a strong voice, a trained voice, and can sound like anything from nearly Enya to almost Kate Smith. I don’t have to sing solos or even be noticed singing backup. I can sing very high notes and sort of low notes but the best sound is in between (although Henry likes the high notes best). I can hold a part against opposing rhythms and clashing harmonies. I sang the melody on the historical medley on the first unioNation recording and the really high backup on Long Road. I mostly sing in the church choir but have done some Broadway and opera.

Here’s what I am willing to try but it is really hard: I suck at jazz and hard rock because singing from the gut was beaten out of me as a child. I prefer tons of rehearsal to even a slight bit of improvisation. If you need a certain sound I will give you my best with as much rehearsal as we can work in.

So if you have a piece that needs backup and it sounds like maybe I could help the sound, please let me know. Tell me what you imagine it to sound like, the effect you want to achieve, and I will work up some possibilities before we meet.

I came away from the last unioNation thinking we need some opera or at least classical style music, and since then I have come to believe we need at least a little polka. They could just be a bridge in some more mainstream song, not necessarily a whole piece to itself, but we need to cover more styles that are beloved by at least some of our brothers and sisters. Any of you songwriters up to this? I am working on some classical style lyrics but it is not coming together.

I am so touched to have another chance to participate in unioNation and I look forward to meeting each of you. 

Steve Eckery

I was born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. I currently live in Lincoln, Nebraska and I am a 38-year retired machinist with BNSF railroad. I was the vice Local Charmain and Vice President for Local Lodge 612, District 19.

I worked with the IAM and lobbied the Nebraska State Congress for laws governing safe working conditions on the rails as well as the 60-year retirement for rail workers.

Have always played music for pleasure and got my first guitar at age 13. I have played with the bands Bando, Slyde Brothers with Michael Wiegert.

Currently, have my own band Slyder James Band and we sing Blues, Reggae, Rock, and my own originals. I play guitar and slide guitar.

Tony Cruz

I began playing the acoustic guitar when I was 18 years old (1982) and just out of high school. When I joined the Marine’s a few years later (1984) I carried a small Yamaha Acoustic with me across the Atlantic on the USS America Aircraft Carrier and played many evenings in the Berthing area for my fellow Marines & Sailors. I carried that guitar across the Pacific when I spent 5 months in Japan and a month in the Philippines. I wasn’t very good, and only knew a handful of chords, but it wasn’t until I STOPPED playing that the fellas would ask me “when are you going to play some more?” (1988)

I kept playing for ten more years, taking lessons and learning to sing in Church Choirs with good voice coaches and teachers. I enjoyed singing more than playing; the guitar was just an excuse to sing songs.

I quit playing guitar on a regular basis about 12 years ago (2003?) after I was divorced.

I met Mr. Ron Thomas, Science Teacher at my children’s School and after striking up a friendship, we began to play some guitar and mandolin songs together, eventually we played in public last summer (2014) and played a few Tiki bars down near Carolina Southern Outerbanks town of Beaufort.

This past spring and into this summer we now have a Drummer, Tim, and a lead guitarist Mitch and played this past Saturday night (7/25) at a Tiki Bar in Beaufort NC. We play a variety of music from the 60’s (Beatles & Stones) to present day (Lumineers). I have never played anything more than a rhythm acoustic guitar. My voice is my best attribute, but I am decent at playing good rhythm and basic chords with some finger picking.

I enjoy singing and playing, and now that we play in front of crowds, I am much more relaxed in doing so. One of my favorite songs is Bruce Springsteen’s “The River”, like many of his songs, it is the story of a working class, blue-collar worker, just trying to make it in the world, and highlighting the struggles of the working class family.

I joined the Union in 1992, became a shop steward in 2000 and a Chief Steward in 2005. During that time I became the Newsletter Editor, Communicator and the Legislative Director for our Local, and eventually the State Machinists Council. I spent much of my time working on Political Campaigns for the IAM and with the State AFL. I have been the Central Labor Council President since 2013 and was elected as the Directing Business Representative for District Lodge 110, Havelock, NC in July of 2014.

I am married to Jennifer Cruz and have 5 children, hers, mine and ours, ages 21-8, 4 girls and 1 boy. I have over 27 years of service to the Federal Government, Marine Corps active duty 1984-1988 and as a Navy Civilian from 1992 to 2014. I am now on extended leave of absence with my election as a full-time Representative.

I have almost 23 years membership in the IAM, and being a native of Chicago I was born and raised to be involved in a Union, a voice on the job, and politics. I am a Trade Unionist through and through. I enjoy all types of music, but especially acoustical versions of hits from the 1970’s and 80’s.

I find that music is an opportunity for me to be at peace and that it speaks to everyone in a common language. Thank you for this opportunity, I will do my best to hopefully make it worthwhile for our members and their families.

Tony Rivera

I am the President of Local Lodge 1957 in Norwalk, California, and President of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute for the Los Angeles, California chapter.

Tony Rivera becomes Tiny Red when writing or performing in the written word genre, the same way Samuel Clemmons became Mark Twain or Eric Arthur Blair became George Orwell. Written word poetry can be put to music which is the roots of rap music.

Tiny Red writes believing a social-political message is necessary to uplift people to consciousness then action.