Linda McLean, Executive/Creative Director of Little Pearls, has had a strong interest in media as a consciousness-raising tool since she had a vision about its vast potential in the early 1980’s.
She has a master’s degree in social work and many years of experience in various settings, mainly in mental health and developmental disabilities. In two decades of volunteer work with Asheville-based Peace Links – NC, she helped put on a wide array of annual Peace Day events, shepherded The Peace Pledge Project into being and distributed Peace Pledge cards throughout the US and to many other countries.
Linda senses deeply that all life is interconnected and has worked with several groups to link peace, social justice and environmental ideas. She loves to work collaboratively with people who have different skills and perspectives.
She is keenly aware that a large number of people, in widely diverse life situations, do not have positive role models in their lives. Since both television and the Internet have such far-reaching impact in mainstream culture, she has long believed that media could be skillfully and lovingly used to plant seeds of hope and change. She is especially interested in the heart-work of personal, spiritual, relationship and community development and in our deepening connection as humans with each other, animals, nature, the Earth and the Universe ~ to beauty and wonder in all forms.
Linda’s life took a drastic turn in 2011 when her husband Jim was diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer. For the 14 months until Jim died in December 2012, she was consumed with caregiving and supporting him. Her life since then has been filled with actively moving through a conscious grief process and reinvesting in the world and life in new, changed ways. Little Pearls has had to wait.
She still lives in a 1926 home with her animal family and many plants and gardens in downtown Weaverville, NC, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. Her elderly mother lived nearby until her death in November 2009. Baby Kayla, featured in Our Children Ask the World of Us, was her first grandchild and is now big sister to Kira. Linda@LittlePearls.org
Here is an article from the New Life Journal Dec 2008/Jan 2009 issue: NLJ Life’s Leaders Dec – Jan 09 Linda has also been featured in The Sunday Conversations series in the Asheville Citizen-Times and in WLOS TV’s Person of the Week.
Debra Roberts is the fond Founder and former Co-Executive Director of Little Pearls. She has been involved in arts and spirituality all her life. Her work as an artist has taken her to England (where she lived for eleven years), Northern Ireland, Europe, Turkey, and various cities around the United States. In New Mexico, she worked with Coyote Gathers His People, a Native American performing troupe, and was Director of the New Mexico Literacy Theater, a company that toured pueblos, schools, prisons and rehabilitation centers around the Southwest.
In the late nineties, after a series of strong nighttime dreams, Debra started a company called Heron Productions LLC which specializes in uplifting, inspiring documentaries and other creative projects. Later, after another potent dream, Little Pearls was born.
Debra’s experience of the arts in service to multicultural communities profoundly impacted her, as does her friendship with elders and Medicine people from many traditions. A meeting with Hopi elder Thomas Banyacya, a messenger of Hopi prophecy who spoke about the vital importance of women stepping forward into the world, also deeply touched her.
In 2005, she went on a sabbatical that included time in India, the Hopi Mesas, and the Black Madonna region of southern France. These sacred places deepened her commitment to the arts as a strong beneficial force in the world. As a result, she created a series of CD talks for women called Prasad for Women – Talks for Fifth World Women Walking Upright: fifthworldwomen.com. At the end of this epic year, honeybees also flew into her life.
Debra is now a Master Beekeeper and international honeybee educator, speaker, advocate, and artist. She speaks on subjects like Natural Compassionate Beekeeping; Women and Beekeeping; Following the Bee Trail: A Woman Beekeeper’s Adventures in the Wide world; and Love as the Ultimate Activism. She is Founder of Holy Bee Press and also created the online series, The Sacred Path of Bee for bee appreciators worldwide. Debra resides in the mountains of Western North Carolina with her husband Joe, cat Habla and a quarter million honeybees.
Debra can be contacted at email@example.com
Before they even met, both Linda and Debra had vivid nighttime dreams ~ a few months apart ~ about creating empowering PSAs. They were working in different ways to bring their dreams into reality. They met through serendipity in October 2000 and felt immediately in sync, sharing an intuitive, heart-directed sense about the process and the purpose for making these spots. Linda joined Debra in the work of Little Pearls soon after they met. They then became co-Executive Directors.
In late 2004, after Little Pearls obtained its official 501(c)(3) non-profit status, Linda became Executive Director. Debra continues as Consultant, beloved Founder and friend. With assistance from a small Board of Directors and from wise mentors, creative collaborators and volunteers, Little Pearls is once again evolving into its next phase.
Feeling blessed to have found each other and to have nurtured Little Pearls this far through their shared dreams, Debra and Linda continue to step forward into the world, gladly supporting each other’s life-affirming offerings.
The creation of Little Pearls is a collaborative effort – we acknowledge and are grateful for the excellent work and support of so many people!