Civitron

Alias(es): N/A
Identity: Public
Alter Ego: David Civitarese
Category: Social Activist
Location: Secret City, USA
Status: Active

There’s no place like home. And for Civitron, there’s no better place to begin the ongoing task of making a difference in his community—and beyond. “I believe that saving the world starts at home,” he says, “The Universe is always changing, and I like to view myself as a part of that changing Universe. I look for signals, signs that show me where I need to be. And all those signs pointed me right to my family, to my son.”

A Real Life Superhero living and working in Massachusetts, Civitron is an “artistic representation of self, a father, family man, and creative director of socially-conscious events and projects.” Much like a hip-hop artist will adopt a stage name and persona, Civitron exists as “my ambassador to the world and a symbol of creative altruism,” he says, while still allowing him a comfortable level of anonymity. “Instead of fighting ‘crime,’ I seek justice,” he continues, “I prefer direct social and emotional contact with the public as opposed to sticking to the shadows.”

And stepping out of those shadows allows him to engage in a wide range of activities including street patrols, homeless outreach, community clean-ups, and Boston-based Project Bread’s annual Walk for Hunger, as well as hosting a series of ongoing events bringing together all facets of the arts and altruism, featuring live music, community art projects, and offering information about volunteer opportunities within his city. “I endeavor to create a positive male role model for young people to explore their community and use their own unique abilities to ‘be the change they wish to see in the world’.” He calls it “living your truth.”

And Civitron is living his truth by challenging all of us to be the heroes he knows we can be. To that end, he launched “The Heroic 100,” in the summer of 2010, an online project designed to “promote personal truth and exploration through self-expression and creative activism.” The website asks visitors to develop and share their own ideas for making the world a better place, in order to strengthen their communities—and inspire the real-life superhero inside each of us. New challenges are issued every day for 100 days, and range from multi-day efforts like seeking out and volunteering at a local soup kitchen, to simpler one-offs, such as reading to a child in your life. Project participants are then asked to document their works, in all forms of media, from drawings or paintings, to essays and articles, or even in poetry or song. Oftentimes, suggestions are made as to which medium might work best for a particular challenge on the list. The goal behind it all is to then post those submissions for the world to see—and become inspired to try it for themselves. “I created the ‘Heroic 100’ to help me understand who Civitron really is, and at the end of the day, what my place is in the world.”

Ultimately, it all comes down to family, which he cites as a “constant source” of inspiration. “As I move forward, I see myself sort of working from that perspective more and more,” says Civitron, “What appeals to my son, what’s important to him in his life, and what he needs to grow up to become a superhero in his own right.”

Cartoonist and creator of Totally Naked Man (https://totallynakedman.com/) and The Schlub (https://theschlub.com/).

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