THE 2015 HEAD AND HEART AWARD!

June 25, 2015  By Jack Jodell. Those who follow this blog regularly know I have had the tendency to focus on many of the problems our country faces as well as on those whom I believe have helped cause those problems, either through their actions or inaction. I have done so to draw attention to the many flaws we have here in America, in hopes that improvements will be made someday. I will continue doing so on a regular basis. As you know, annually near year’s end, I post a special  December feature, which I call “Santa’s Bozo of the Year.” It highlights some of the fools and clowns in public life whose antics were so outlandish that they were deserving of ridicule. In a similar fashion each spring, I take an opposite approach and do a positive feature, which portrays an individual of today or yesterday whose contributions to our country and / or humanity  have been so spectacular, courageous, and/or noteworthy that they should be lauded near and far as good examples of what we as humans can achieve, if we only put our minds and hearts to it. After all, not everything going on in the world is doom and gloom! So here is the seventh installment of this annual mid-year feature I call the “Head and Heart Award.” Past recipients have been fellow bloggers GWEN BARRY and BURR DEMING, plus ROBERT REICH, NICK HANAUER,  VAN JONES, KEITH OLBERMANN, and MOTHER TERESA. Individuals featured  here have used their head and heart to produce great things for humankind, and have shown themselves to be beacons of light in an often vast sea of darkness. These persons should serve as an inspiration to us ALL to actually DO something –  to take a principled stand – using OUR heads and hearts on behalf of our fellow brothers and sisters, rather than simply sitting back complacently enjoying the relatively good life we have experienced here in the United States.   GERARD AND STACEYThis year’s award goes to a remarkable couple of documentary filmmakers  whose magnificent work I first saw late last fall on FREE SPEECH TV  – GERARD UNGERMAN and STACEY WEAR. Gerard was actually born in Paris, France,  and served in the French military, but always wanted to live in the U.S. He studied English and Economics at the Sorbonne. Gerard was enthralled with the vastness of this country and the richness and diversity of its landforms, resources, and people, as well as the melting-pot nature of its culture. In 1995 he formed his own film production company and settled for a time in New York. Stacey, on the other hand, is a native-born California girl, being born in San Francisco and reared in Redding, CA.  She has also lived in Japan and Hawaii. Stacey received a degree in Communications from California State University, Chico. She worked for a time at local radio station  KZFR-FM there in Chico, CA. In 2005, while at that station, she met and interviewed Gerard while he was in town giving a presentation on one of his documentaries. The pair developed a strong and enduring friendship and eventually fell in love. They moved in together in 2009 and began this beautiful undertaking which blossomed into the Respectful Revolution Project three years later. With Gerard, Stacey has traveled over a very wide swath of this country. The couple’s innate idealism, decency, and youthful joie de vivre is abundantly evident in their work – both in the videos they create and in their writing. These are truly likable, down-home types who have been blessed with a rare insight, appreciation for. and understanding of, their fellow human beings. That quality is what makes their shows and their website so fresh and enjoyable! Stacey says, “The truth is, we feel like the more we find, the more there is to find!”     GERARDGerard has been active making documentaries for many years. Since 1995, he has produced numerous hard-hitting, often controversial films which have been shown worldwide, such as Plan Colombia: Cashing-In on the Drug War Failure; Hidden Wars of Desert Storm; and The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror. Having covered so much negative material over the years dealing with death, violence, warfare, dishonesty, greed, corruption and the like, one day Gerard made the conscious decision to do a series of short filns focusiing on humankind’s better nature. Consequently, he and Stacey founded their marvelous organization known as “The Respectful Revolution.” RESPECTFUL REVOLUTION  This Respectful Revolution Project was begun in 2012 and is, according to information posted on their website (www.RespectfulRevolution.org“a national, grass-roots, not-for-profit video project started in 2012…For most of the past three years, traveling mostly by motorcycle (for fun AND  fuel efficiency!) we have gone cross-country three times so far and have interviewed people – all doing INSPIRING and RESPECTFUL things. We find folks taking respectful action and make a short video about WHAT they are doing, WHY they are doing it, and WHO they are. Their stories are sometimes simple, sometimes complex, and always somehow compellingly personal.” They go on to describe it as ” an advocacy project seeking to DOCUMENT POSITIVE ACTION AND INSPIRE CHANGE.”   UNGERMANGerard and Stacey  have already filmed about 150 separate videos lasting between 5 and 8 minutes each. This fall they will begin grouping them into half-hour length programs. I was amazed to learn that they do all the filming, editing, and production work mainly by themselves, because everything looks and sounds very professional and fully broadcast quality. They have already logged over 25,000 travel WEARmiles and intend on doing many thousands more. Their work can be seen on their website, and also on their YouTube channel as well as their Facebook page. Believe me, readers – it is NOT to be missed! These are truly likable, friendly folks. Before beginning their latest effort, Gerard said, with his wry wit, “If we shoot for the stars, we should at least be able to make it over the dumpsters.” While filming last summer in Denver, the pair encountered Alexander Manness, the Director of Broadcast Media from FREE SPEECH TV. (As you may know, FSTV is completely non-commercial; accepts NO funds from cable companies, corporations, or the government;  free speechand is fully viewer-supported and non-profit). Manness was familiar with them, as FSTV had previously aired some of Gerard’s documentaries, plus the Respectful Revolution had done a project portrait on FSTV co-founder John Stout. (Also, the network had, during its fall and winter pledge drives,  aired some of the short vignettes Gerard and Stacey had previously posted on their website and Facebook page, and were very enthusiastic about them. That is where I had learned of them last fall). After a time it was suggested that the Respectful Revolution Project’s series of short, positive videos would make EXCELLENT television, so it wasn’t long before FSTV placed an order for 10 half-hour long fully-produced episodes of the soon-to-be-aired RESPECTFUL REVOLUTION TV SHOW! Gerard and Stacey were signed to an open-ended, non-exclusive contract, meaning that in the future their fabulous work could also be seen on other networks, like PBS or LINK TV, FSTV gave them a small stipend to begin with (which amounted to about $200 per show – a generous sum considering the non-profit, non-commercial nature of the network – but nowhere near what filming, editing, and producing a show like this requires). So Stacey and Gerard began the arduous task of fundraising to complete the series for airing this fall. Their goal is to someday soon make the project self-sustaining and have it exert a positive influence on the world. But – first things first. These initial 10 episodes must be produced, completed, and aired.  gerard stacey ‘This remarkable couple  are most deserving of this year’s Head and Heart Award! As one who admires them a lot and has been quite impressed with their selflessness, dedication, and sincerity, I strongly urge you to contribute to their very noble cause! You can contribute directly at http://www.respectfulrevolution.org, and I encourage you to do so TODAY, and be sure to tell your friends, relatives, and associates to join you, too. Help Gerard and Stacey achieve their wonderful goal of instilling a fresh, new, positive. mindset for humanity to follow – based on dignity and respect for ALL! Thank you – with respect! 🙂

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
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2 Responses to THE 2015 HEAD AND HEART AWARD!

  1. Stacey Wear says:

    We are honored (and a bit astonished!) to be the recipients of Jack Jodell’s “Head and Heart Award”… Thank you from the bottom of…you guessed it….our HEARTS. It is especially satisfying to be recognized by a fellow human being who has his own head and heart in place. Thank you Mr. Jodell!!
    With utmost respect and gratitude,
    Stacey Wear and Gerard Ungerman
    Co-founders, The Respectful Revolution Project

    • jackjodell53 says:

      And my humble and sincere thanks to both of YOU for your kind words, and for having been named this year! We will be interviewing you both on our July 12 online radio show, and we are really looking forward to that! Until then, keep up the great work! 🙂

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