How It All Began

People often ask me how Hi, I’m Here began. I was going to pick up my friend Ginny.  It was raining.  I texted “omw” (on my way) before I left.  As I was driving there, I started thinking “I don’t want to get out and go to the door. It’s raining and I don’t want to get wet”.  I thought “I don’t want to be impolite and just honk, but what’s a polite message I could send?”  Still thinking in terms of text language like “omw”,  I thought “hiih” (Hi, I’m Here).  Then, I immediately thought about those letters being in an oval, on a sticker, like a bumper sticker.  It was the fall of 2016 and there was a growing atmosphere of divisiveness and discrimination being spoken about and encouraged by one of the presidential candidates, which was heartbreaking and offensive to me.  I imagined someone from one of the marginalized groups driving a car with an “hiih” bumper sticker, saying “Hi, I’m Here!  I have a right to be here!”  But, not in an adversarial way, not a “me against you” divisive way.  I thought of it as “we’re all in this together, we’re all connected, room for all” kind of way.  Then, when I actually drew the logo, I added the smile and that’s when the cute face appeared.  Hi, I’m Here is a reminder of every person’s value and right to be here.

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