Photography By: Leise Trueblood

“The beautiful thing about the word ‘neighbor’ is that it asks you to be something — it begs you to be something for other people.”

So explained CEO and Chairman of The Nantucket Project Tom Scott in his definition of ‘neighborhood,’ the theme for TNP8. This concept of what it means to be a neighbor could be felt everywhere — in the sentiments shared on stage by the speakers, in the conversations between attendees under the tent, and even after the festival was over. Whether the topic was artistic expression, child sex trafficking, building a business, or figuring out your identity, attendees were encouraged to think differently and challenge their own definition of what it means to be a ‘neighbor’ in a ‘neighborhood.’ We recorded some of our favorite quotes from the weekend to share with you here, and will be finding ways to be better neighbors in our own neighborhoods over the coming year.

“If you don’t see color, you are choosing not to see reality. And if you don’t see color, you’re going to miss a rainbow, and all of this beauty… In a tight knight, small community like Nantucket, we still have work to do. And that’s okay.”
Charity-Grace Mofsen, Director, Nantucket African Meeting House, on this year’s incident involving graffiti and racist threats at the African Meeting House

“Everything that’s impossible is on its way to being possible — it’s the fallacy of the word “impossible.” We at Not Impossible Labs believe in “help one, help many” — if you help one person, and tell the story powerfully of that one person, then maybe someone else can relate to it, and that help can be scaled to help many.”
Mick Ebeling, Director, Not Impossible Labs

“Yes the worst thing happened to me, I lost my husband, he was the most precious thing to me. But I also saw the best of America, the America that got me to come here — there was the man who intervened and got shot in the process, and all the people who came and tended to my husband. There were all the people who came out to support me after… I belong here and I have to spread that message of love and unity.”
Sunayana Dumala, Organizer, Forever Welcome, on the race-based shooting that took her husband’s life

“My grandfather always said, ‘In order to defeat your enemy, you must befriend your enemy, and then maybe he can become your partner.’ Regardless of your demographic, we all have the potential to achieve greatness.”
Ndaba Mandela, Grandson of Nelson Mandela

“Thinking harder in the old way will not work. We’ve decided we can insult each other into agreement. I want you to remember the people who are not here, the people who do not agree with you. They’re Americans too, they’re not evil. When we feel contempt, we need to meet it with warm-heartedness. Contempt is for weak people. Warm-heartedness is for strong people.”
Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute

“Following the way everybody else does things won’t necessarily work for you. What motivates you might be different from everybody else, and if you find what that is and you’re good at it, people will pay you big money for it.”
Todd Rose, Co-founder and President, Center for Individual Opportunity

“Education does not equal mobility. We need to change the way students are assessed and evaluate the whole person.”
Rebecca Kantar, Founder, Imbellus

“Sadly, as children we were told not to tattle and that’s where abuse of power comes from. But if we are the one voice, there may be 15 people standing with you within hours, and that’s the paradigm shift. Men are with each other and women are not and that drags on our ability to succeed.”
Laura Dern, Mother, Activist, and Actress, on the #MeToo movement

“It’s not a country filled with terrorists — it’s a bunch of families and parents who are just trying to live their lives, just like we are.”
Doug Liman, Filmmaker and Director of Fair Game, on filming in Baghdad, Iraq

“The more I know, the more I realize I don’t know, which leads me to ask more questions and take more road trips.”
Greg Foran, President and CEO, Walmart U.S.

“What makes America special today is a vigorous localism — an incredible ability to create and recreate our communities.”
Richard Florida, Leading Urbanist and Author of The New Urban Crisis

“We call our students ‘Suns’ because we know they shine brightly. Our formula is love, love, and more love. We encourage them to know their inherent human value, refuse to accept the status quo, and embrace a sense of control over the outcome of their lives.”
Neil Phillips, Founder, Visible Men Academy

“I would say, in most cases, they’re reaching for what all of us are reaching for. They want to be cared for and recognized. There is a sense that the folks from the urban centers don’t understand their lifestyles — what they hold near and dear is not being respected by people who have never been there… [On the Republican Party] I think we have allowed divisive language to become acceptable, and I don’t think we need to get down in the sewer and call each other names.”
Sean Spicer, Former White House Press Secretary, on what Trump supporters believe

“Life is a collaboration and we are each other’s stories — we write our own stories through each other.”
Amy Ziering, Filmmaker and Producer of the film The Hunting Ground

Didn’t get a chance to attend this year’s TNP? You can bring the conversation to your own neighborhood with TNP’s Neighborhood Series. Click here for more information.

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