Posts by Kelsey

Join my #BlackFridayFast

For the past few years, I’ve fasted on Black Friday. I don’t consume anything–no shopping and no eating for at least 16 hours.

If you’d like to join me, I’ll be doing it again this year from 12AM – 6 PM on Black Friday. You can follow and/or suffer along with me using the hashtag #BlackFridayFast.

Sixteen hours really isn’t that long. I once did it for 30 hours, and while it sucked, it wasn’t that bad. I wrote about the experience at the end of WHERE AM I EATING? (you can read the excerpt at the end of this post). Sixteen hours is plenty of time to accomplish what I want to accomplish through the fast.

How to get your hangry on

If you are pregnant, a hobbit, or suffer from chronic,…

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Painting by Austin Peay State U student Toni Agee

APSU students are awesomely talented. I only saw the winners and honorable mentions of their creative response assignment for WHERE AM I WEARING. The fact that student Toni Agee’s painting was neither is just a testament to how awesome these projects were.


When we work it may look like we are concentrating on the task at hand, but often we’re focused on more important things, such as why we are working in the first place. Even the person who makes your clothes has a rich inner life.

Well done, Toni!

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I see my son dead on a beach: How I think about the Syrian refugee crisis

A few things have shaped the way I see the Syrian refugee crisis. I thought I would share them:

#1: The photo of the boy on the beach

The pictures of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi lifeless on the beach have haunted me for months. You should see them. They are here.

I can barely handle seeing the photos. I see them and I see my own son, which is terrifying and exactly how we should see the world. I see the shirt I helped him put on, the shoes we bought him. When confronted with a harsh reality, we should see ourselves and our family members in the mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters impacted by that reality.

Empathy should be a our default setting.

When I look at the Syrian refugees, I think about what…

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My British filmmaker friend who taught me about the American town that has been on fire since 1961

The small appalachian town of Centralia, PA, has been on fire since 1961. Last month NBC announced that Centralia will be the focus of a new pilot. describes the show:

“Centralia is a dark character-driven genre soap based on a real town in central Pennsylvania where an underground mine fire has been burning for over 50 years. The remaining few residents of this ghost town are determined to preserve their homes butremain unaware of the evil that is slowly making its way to the surface.”

I’m not sure what the “evil that is slowly making its way to the surface” is, but it can’t be more disastrous and sinister than what actually happened. Few people have focused on the environmental…

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A Liberal on Lazy Liberalism & Faux Outrage

I’m no anthropologist, but I like to think that my degree in anthropology has instilled a certain level of cultural sensitivity and empathy that fuels my work. That’s why I was shocked to receive an email that painted me as anything but culturally sensitive.

By holding up my Jingle These Christmas Boxers, I was sexual harassing the entire audience.

By saying, “the worst thing isn’t that we live in a world where child labor exists, but in a world where a mother who loves her child just as much as your mom loves you and my mom loves me sends that child off to work for the day because they have to earn an income,” I’m offending any audience members who don’t have mothers or mothers who loves…

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Join me in kickstarting Krochet Kids’ World’s Greatest Beanie

One of my absolute favorite clothing brands is Krochet Kids. A few years ago I had the chance to meet one of the founders of this nonprofit apparel brand, Kohl Crecelius, when he was speaking at Ball State.

Kohl and his buddies, Travis and Stewart, were avid snow sports enthusiasts in high school and wanted to have some headwear that was different than anyone’s on the slopes. They learned to crochet beanies and the friends started filling custom orders.

After high school Stewart traveled to Uganda on a trip that had nothing to do with beanies or crocheting and realized how little opportunity existed for the people there.

(This is massive paraphrasing)

They thought if a couple of dudes from Washington state could…

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I’m so 2015 that I’m on periscope

I don’t mean to brag, but like 16 people follow me on periscope. We should be periscopians together.

I’ve had several folks ask me what I think of it. Here’s essentially what I told my friend Mark Benson:

I think it’s more intimate since it is more immediate. The thing I like best is what I liked about Instagram early on or any other new social platform–how quiet it is. I follow a few people and a few people follow me. It’s much more manageable to interact and pay attention to what others are doing compared to thousands of folks on Twitter.

But as Mark pointed out: “Call someplace paradise, and kiss it goodbye.”

My first try at Periscope was walking out on stage at UNC-Greensboro in an auditorium before 1,000+. It…

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How Fair Trade Actually Changes the World

(With kids in cocoa region of Ivory Coast)

You’re standing in the aisle. Before you is a bar of normal chocolate and a bar of Fair Trade or ethically sourced chocolate, or a pair of regular underwear and a pair of Fair Trade underwear, or a pair of regular chocolate underwear and a pair of Fair Trade chocolate underwear. (Just kidding about that last one. I don’t think Fair Trade is in the “novelty” market yet. Someday!)

You have a choice to make: Be fair or be normal?

Choose the product that supports millions of farmers around the world, sets certain social and environmental standards, provides producers with a guaranteed minimum price for their product and a social premium, or…

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Take 3 minutes to learn about the storytelling project I co-founded

So far the Facing Project has reached 30 communities and hundreds of writers and storytellers. I co-founded the project with my friend J.R. Jamison in 2013. If you aren’t sure what the project is about, check out this story on the Indianapolis news about Ball State’s Facing Depression project.

Hope you’re having a great Saturday.  We went adventuring today with the family. By adventuring I mean that I got to carry a machete and chop away at thorn bushes while the family followed behind me. I also got to skip a rock. Any day you skip a rock is a good one.

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Austin Peay State student writes song that makes my eyes sweat

I have a new happy song: Sonder by Gina Henderson.

Gina is a student at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN, where students who read WHERE AM I WEARING as part of the university’s common reading program were asked to do a creative response. Gina wrote and performed (vocals and ukelele) her song Sonder.

Here’s how she introduces the song in a book highlighting a few of the responses:

According to the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, [Sonder] means, “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.” This perfectly encapsulates the emotions I felt while reading Where Am I Wearing. I was a startling awakening to realize that my clothes were made not by faceless robots in some…

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