Tony Deifell discusses Seeing Beyond Sight: Photographs by Blind Teenagers with additional reading by writer Kathy Knox who is a member of the board of directors of Lighthouse for the Blind.
Tony Deifell, visual artist and social entrepreneur, taught blind students to take pictures as an innovative, multi-sensory means of self-expression. Their intuitive, dreamlike images are often surprising and beautiful in their composition, light, and chiaroscuro intensity. What began as an experimental after-school photography club grew into a five-year project that impacted Deifell as much or more than his students.
"Seeing Beyond Sight" is about seeing in the broadest sense. The young photographers own stories tell of danger, fear, trust, race and beauty found in all of our lives; their photographs, some of which will be shown in a special presentation this evening, are simply astonishing- Cody's Books
Tony Deifell has spent nearly two decades as a social entrepreneur. He was a founding board member of KaBOOM! (www.kaboom.org), the national market leader for community-built playgrounds and skateparks. KaBOOM! generates 91% of its $20 million annual budget through earned-income activities with clients such as The Home Depot, Sprint, and Computer Associates. He was most recently the organization's Chief Strategist and architect of its growth strategy and performance-measurement system.
Prior to his work at KaBOOM!, Tony founded and headed for eight years a national media-education nonprofit that used storytelling to build youth leadership and to fight racism, sexism and other "isms," reaching 10,000 college students, partnering with 25 colleges and universities, and receiving recognition by the White House as a national model of diversity education. Tony has served on local and national boards including the Kellogg Fellows Leadership Alliance and the Social Enterprise Alliance where he co-chairs the public policy initiative.
He studied Anthropology at UNC-Chapel Hill, earned an MBA from Harvard Business School where he started the Mobius Forum on Leadership and Spirituality, and was a fellow in the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's National Leadership Program. For five years, he taught photography to blind teenagers in Raleigh, NC and has published a new book of their work called Seeing Beyond Sight (www.seeingbeyondsight.org, Chronicle Books 2007), a surprising source from which he draws inspiration for what it means to lead.