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Patricia Lay-Dorsey

Detroit-based photographer & artist who uses Instagram to build community. Rauschenberg Residency 2017 @patricialaydorseycollages. AKA Grandma Techno

http://www.patricialaydorsey.com/

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Thanks to the piano tuner Clem Fortuna, our 1920’s Chickering baby grand piano seems to have regained its bell-like quality. Of course it is Eddie who makes it sing... or boogie, depending on his mood.

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This was one of the first families I photographed a year ago for what became a new project with the working title “Families In Detroit.” At that time they told me they were originally from Mexico. When I look at this picture today, it brings me to tears...especially the little girl’s hand on her brother’s head and the little boy’s fingers clutching his father’s hand. What about the little girls and boys in my country today who are not only separated from their parents but from each other? It’s likely that one child from a family was sent to one detention center and her brother and sister would be in a different detention center or even placed in a foster home. Can we begin to imagine how terrifying that must be for these little ones who had already lived through harrowing escapes from their homes? Yet I see no interest in or inclination by the government to reunite these families. Thousands and thousands of them. What kind of monsters are we? And how could we have allowed it to go on this long and affect so many families? I am so ashamed that it wasn’t until now that I woke up to the horrors that were being perpetrated in my name. These children and their parents are our responsibility. We must find them and reunite them. WE MUST!!! #reunitetheseparated #ActOnTheirBehalf #nofamilyseparation #reunitefamilies #reunitefamiliesattheborder

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FROM THE WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE: “President Trump abruptly reversed course Wednesday, signing an executive order ending family separations at the U.S.-Mexico border after a public uproar over the impact of his administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ immigration policy. The plan would keep families together in federal custody while awaiting prosecution for illegal border crossings, potentially violating a 1997 court settlement limiting the duration of child detentions...On Tuesday, the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] said 2,342 children have been separated from their parents since last month. Trump’s executive order instructs DHS to keep families in custody ‘to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations,’ language that points to the government’s deficit of detention space for parents with children.” FROM PATRICIA: Thank God that babies and children will no longer be ripped from the arms of their parents, but the thousands who have already been separated from their parents are not even mentioned in the executive order Trump signed this afternoon. What is going to happen to them? How are these families going to be reunited, especially since many of the parents have already been deported while the children are still being held in detention centers or foster care here in the U.S? And what about our responsibility to provide mental health treatment for these children and their parents who have suffered such unspeakable trauma due to the actions of our government? OUR WORK IS NOT DONE! In addition to demanding that the families that have already been separated be reunited, we must now monitor how long the migrant families that Trump says will not be separated are kept in detention and the conditions under which they are being held. The 1997 Flores Settlement agreement “limits the government’s ability to keep children in detention and orders them to be placed in least-restrictive setting possible. A subsequent ruling in 2016 bars the government from keeping children in family detention centers for more than 20 days.” Oh yes, our work has just begun!

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#Repost @kishabari with @get_repost ・・・ I just heard the news that three INFANT DETENTION CENTERS erected to house the tiny babes that have been stolen from their parents on the border. These babes need their mothers! They were still being breastfed. They WILL NOT get the love & care needed to grow healthily at this tender age. This is a humanitarian crisis. CALL Congress & tell your senators to vote YES on SB3036. ‘Keep Families Together Act. (202) 224 3121. And DONATE!! TCRP, Neta, RAICES & LUPE are all organizations that are on the ground helping. Do not send any more clothing. #FamiliesBelongTogether #IAmAChild Creative Director : @paolamendoza Photograpy : @kishabari Producer : @thebeckymorrison. FROM PATRICIA: The Associated Press reports Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children who have been forcibly separated from their parents at the US – Mexico border to at least three “tender age” shelters in South Texas. The government plans to open a fourth shelter for young migrant children in Houston. WE MUST TAKE ACTION - CALL CONGRESS TODAY!

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I’m done! Today was my final test drive with Cindi, the Driver Rehabilitation evaluator/trainer with whom I’ve been working since the end of March. For the first time since I started using hand controls, I drove on the expressway. No problems at all. And then she had me drive on a number of different roads and highways around the Birmingham, Michigan area. Again, no problems. After an hour of driving, we went back to her office where Cindi filled out and had me sign a number of forms, the most important to me being her Driver Rehabilitation Discharge Summary. There will be one more step in 3-6 months when the Michigan Secretary of State schedules me for a road test, but Cindy said that should be no problem. They don’t even take me on the expressway, nor do they ask me to park. This was the final step for me to regain my independence and be free of medical interventions since my health struggles began the end of December 2017. If you’ve been following my posts here on Instagram, you know it has been a long, rather challenging process...especially for someone who had not been “doctoring” since the early 1990s and had not been hospitalized since 1966. I wasn’t used to being a patient, and I must say I hope I won’t have to go there again for a long time to come. But I am grateful for all the help I received from healthcare workers, physical and occupational therapists, and you, my most supportive IG companions. When I had trouble believing in myself, you were always there to boost my confidence. I don’t think I could have done it without you. #DrivingWithHandControls #IndependentAgain

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I’m done! Today was my final test drive with Cindi, the Driver Rehabilitation evaluator/trainer with whom I’ve been working since the end of March. For the first time since I started using hand controls, I drove on the expressway. No problems at all. And then she had me drive on a number of different roads and highways around the Birmingham, Michigan area. Again, no problems. After an hour of driving, we went back to her office where Cindi filled out and had me sign a number of forms, the most important to me being her Driver Rehabilitation Discharge Summary. There will be one more step in 3-6 months when the Michigan Secretary of State schedules me for a road test, but Cindy said that should be no problem. They don’t even take me on the expressway, nor do they ask me to park. This was the final step for me to regain my independence and be free of medical interventions since my health struggles began the end of December 2017. If you’ve been following my posts here on Instagram, you know it has been a long, rather challenging process...especially for someone who had not been “doctoring” since the early 1990s and had not been hospitalized since 1966. I wasn’t used to being a patient, and I must say I hope I won’t have to go there again for a long time to come. But I am grateful for all the help I received from healthcare workers, physical and occupational therapists, and you, my most supportive IG companions. When I had trouble believing in myself, you were always there to boost my confidence. I don’t think I could have done it without you. #DrivingWithHandControls #IndependentAgain

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I’m done! Today was my final test drive with Cindi, the Driver Rehabilitation evaluator/trainer with whom I’ve been working since the end of March. For the first time since I started using hand controls, I drove on the expressway. No problems at all. And then she had me drive on a number of different roads and highways around the Birmingham, Michigan area. Again, no problems. After an hour of driving, we went back to her office where Cindi filled out and had me sign a number of forms, the most important to me being her Driver Rehabilitation Discharge Summary. There will be one more step in 3-6 months when the Michigan Secretary of State schedules me for a road test, but Cindy said that should be no problem. They don’t even take me on the expressway, nor do they ask me to park. This was the final step for me to regain my independence and be free of medical interventions since my health struggles began the end of December 2017. If you’ve been following my posts here on Instagram, you know it has been a long, rather challenging process...especially for someone who had not been “doctoring” since the early 1990s and had not been hospitalized since 1966. I wasn’t used to being a patient, and I must say I hope I won’t have to go there again for a long time to come. But I am grateful for all the help I received from healthcare workers, physical and occupational therapists, and you, my most supportive IG companions. When I had trouble believing in myself, you were always there to boost my confidence. I don’t think I could have done it without you. #DrivingWithHandControls #IndependentAgain

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#Repost @truthdig with @get_repost ・・・ As #immgrant children are torn away from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico boarder, thousands across the country demand immigration policy change. See our livestream on Truthdig.com. Link in the description. #familiesbelongtogether #immigration #family #immigrantchildren #separatedfamilies #zerotolerance #mexico #asylum #asylumseekers #immigrants FROM PATRICIA: Separating children from their parents at the US/Mexican border is not a political issue; it is a Humanitarian issue. This is not about whether or not you support the man who is currently in the White House. It is not about your feelings regarding immigrants. It is about the fact that thousands of children are being ripped from their parents’ arms and shoved into detention centers for weeks and months at a time. These are innocent children being held like guilty prisoners, being warehoused in chain-link cages in places like an abandoned Walmart store in Brownsville, Texas. They have no legal representation or recourse. Some of them are within eyesight of their parents who are being held in different chain-link cages. Can you imagine what that is like for the children and the parents? We as Americans cannot allow this to continue. We must do whatever we can to stop this cruelty. As a start, please call your United States Senators and Representative and tell them you do not approve of our government separating children from their parents at the border. Tell them that the policy known as Zero Tolerance is not only inhumane, it is illegal. It must be stopped and you expect your elected officials to do everything they can to stop this outrageous treatment of parents and their children. This is not who we are as individuals or as a nation. The U.S. House of Representatives is going to bring up the issue of immigration this week. Call the U.S. House switchboard today at (202)224-3121 and ask to speak to your U.S. representative. Please do not wait. This is being done in our name. It must stop NOW!

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Yesterday (Saturday) I drove to Belle Isle and was grateful to find families who were willing to pose for my “Families In Detroit” photo project. #Detroit #BelleIsle #families

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Yesterday (Saturday) I drove to Belle Isle and was grateful to find families who were willing to pose for my “Families In Detroit” photo project. #Detroit #BelleIsle #families

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Yesterday (Saturday) I drove to Belle Isle and was grateful to find families who were willing to pose for my “Families In Detroit” photo project. #Detroit #BelleIsle #families

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When I look at the orchids in my front window I think of their perseverance and determination to keep blooming month after month. Then I think about myself and how it was months of perseverance and determination that got me to where I am today in my training to use hand controls on my wheelchair accessible minivan. My driving rehabilitation instructor Cindi Burt said after today’s (Thursday’s) training session that we only need one more session for me to be certified. Cindi put me through my paces for an hour this morning on narrow residential streets with 25 mph speed limits, on up to highways with 45 mph speed limits. Right turns, left turns, Michigan lefts, road construction, workers and barricades. I handled it all with ease. On Monday I will go out on the expressway, and that’s the final test. But that doesn’t even scare me. The interesting thing about this whole process is that I am a safer, more careful driver today than I have ever been before. Cindi is a good teacher and has helped me recognize bad habits I had gotten into during my 60 years of driving. There are so many subtle rules of the road that either I had never learned or had forgotten. But now they are all fresh in my mind. Tough as it has been, I am grateful that I was forced to go from driving with foot pedals to hand controls. And I am especially grateful to Cindi for never giving up on me, even when I was struggling mightily.

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When we reach out to one another, even on Instagram, boundaries disappear.

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Finally, a nice warm summer day, the kind of day I love to sit out on the porch and read. But before that could happen, I needed to pick up my wheelchair accessible minivan at the garage where they were fixing the brakes. When I took my long drive downtown on Monday I felt the brakes did not engage quickly enough. In fact I wasn’t sure I would be able to stop in time at a couple of traffic lights. Yesterday I called Chris who owns the garage where I have been taking my vehicles for decades. He told me to bring it in and this morning Andy, the mechanic, found that my front brakes needed to be replaced. This afternoon I picked it up and went for a test ride. What a difference! OMG it changed everything in terms of how comfortable I feel driving with my hand controls. Good brakes are rather essential, don’t you think? So now I feel much more confident about my training session with Cindi tomorrow (Thursday). She’s planning to take me out on a larger highway and I don’t think I’ll have any trouble at all. Not now, anyway!

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If you’re hungry anywhere near downtown Detroit, don’t miss the opportunity to taste the best bagels in our city at the Detroit Institute of Bagels on Michigan Avenue just west of the Lodge Freeway. And if you’re lucky, Shardae and Sam will be on duty to make you feel welcome! #Detroit

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Noontime at Campus Martius park in Downtown Detroit means live music in the bandshell, food trucks across the street at Cadillac Square, office workers enjoying an hour in the sun, and free games to play for adults and children of all ages. #Detroit

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The basketball courts at Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit are never empty and the caliber of play is pretty high. In fact, there are usually people waiting for their turn to play. #Detroit @instagram @kevin @mikeyk

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Downtown #Detroit on a weekday lunch hour at #CampusMartius and #CadillacSquare draws a diverse crowd of folks. The young fellow in the red shorts & shoes asked me to take a picture of him and his buddies while they waited for their turn on the basketball courts.

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