The summer of 2020 has been one of whirling change, grueling uncertainty, and upheaval on every level – but for many, it has also been one of connection, soul-searching, and growth as we are forced to confront aspects of life that we have long been avoiding. Many white Americans have awoken to the racial inequality of the United States. Married couples have been forced to confront issues during quarantine together. People living alone have been forced to look within themselves for a sense of stillness amidst chaos. Our culture has developed a newfound appreciation for healthcare workers, teachers, and minimum wage workers. And the Zoon Garden Team has experienced the challenges and rewards of seeking connection and authentic conversation during a time when physical closeness is impossible.
This summer, Zoon Garden has used its platform to host conversations with political, economic, and media experts to gather their thoughts on polarization. We’ve discussed the connection between environmental issues and systemic racism, the issue of affordable housing, the digital nomad lifestyle, media literacy, bus life, and the construction of brand narratives – and amidst the discussion of these important topics, the team has experienced genuine connection, friendship, and resilience in communities across the United States.
“We became a family,” says author Jordan O’Donnell. “We laughed, we cried, we yelled, we spoke deeply, overcame an incredible amount of adversity, and had the greatest summer of our lives.”
As the book tour draws to a close, the team aims to integrate their experiences into a return to "normal" life. O'Donnell plans to continue work on the Zoon Garden documentary in time for submission to Sundance. Many interns are returning to their homes and schools. But no matter where they go, they will embark with new friendships, deep compassion, and a hunger for truth.
You can buy Zoon Garden: The Decline of a Nation here.