De Andrea Nichols is a social entrepreneur, museum educator, and communication designer.
  • explore-blog:

    Three-quarters of all email is junk and we waste an awful lot of time answering unimportant emails – just one of the many insights from the best infographics of the past year

  • One Day I’ll Learn

    I may be the most hard-headed and disobedient patient ever, but I couldn’t allow myself to miss the important moments that happened last night.

    I broke bed rest (again) for yesterday’s interfaith service at the Chaifetz and was so moved by the ‪#‎youthtakeover‬ that happened during and after it. It was powerful to experience ‪#‎thisiswhatdemocracylookslike‬ as clergy and leaders—especially Rev. Traci Blackmon and Dr. Cornell West—changed the program after shouters demanded them to include more young people’s voices.

    And then against all sense of my own sanity and self-care, we joined with hundreds of young people into the Shaw community in a peaceful moment of reverence and reflection with Vonderitt Myers’ parents, only to then march to The Grove and SLU/midtown areas for some much needed youth-inspired‪#‎occupyslu‬ gathering. ‪#‎Theythinkitsagame‬ ‪#‎Theythinkitsajoke‬ was chanted as people played Twister, hopscotch, double dutch, and other games in the intersection of Boyle and Manchester. We landed at SLU and called students “out of the dorms and into the streets” and took ownership of the movement that is upon us.

    On Friday, I had to have blood pumped into my body to give me physical energy, and despite the health risk that participating last night has caused me, those moments pumped energy into my soul.

    Today, I awake mid-afternoon with no doubt in my mind that every health risk taken yesterday was worth it. And I promise to return to bed rest, take it easy all week, and recover more fully, but this is the cause I’m willing to take real chances for.

  • From the Hospital to the Streets for #FergusonOctober 

    I am overwhelmingly thankful for the rockstars, artists, activists, and kindred souls that I get to call my friends.

    Friday, at 3pm I was sent to the ER from work after suffering complications I thought were from a migraine from stress and the busyness of the day in prep for Ferguson October initiatives. I had a radio interview at 7pm, a mirror casket art sculpture to activate in ‪#‎Ferguson‬ at 9pm, a Saturday morning festival and the Ferguson FoodSpark: Race, Class, and Privilege to actualize, and so much more to accomplish.

    All of this came to a seeming halt as I found myself getting CT head scans, blood tests, sequential blood clot therapy, and 2 blood transfusions all night.

    Needless to say, I spent my night angry, anxious, impatient, disappointed, scared and feeling like I let down so many people and dropped so many balls in my absence.

    But I realize now that there was no need for this. So many of you have continuously kept the torch burning and brought so much to life, so some thanks:

    — To Brie, Tuan, and Rocky who persisted in taking me to the ER, 
    — To Sophie, who sat by my side all night, made sure I was fed, conducted a radio interview on my behalf, handled BeyondToday posts, kept me comfortable, asked questions of Doctors, and handled so much that I physically could not do myself,
    —To DerekElizabethDamonMarcisSir Mallory, Turk, and all the artists and activists who created, performed, and brought my vision of the mirror casket to life,
    — To All the CAM staff who stepped up to assure that ‪#‎ArtBus‬ festival participation happened,
    — To CambrieLizCarson, and everyone in town who have sent videos, flowers, photos, of their acts of solidarity with the ‪#‎FergusonOctober‬ efforts,
    — To MikeChristineEmily, Elizabeth, Aaron, Sophie, and the UMSL counselors for carrying out our FoodSpark gatherings across the region. 
    — To every person who has continuously sent texts, tweets, messages, and phone calls my way,

    THANK YOU.

    I made this video when I first arrived home from the hospital yesterday. I’m not 100% yet, but I’m well on my way toward better health.