tony r. mcilwaune, 54, philadelphia, PA


Best childhood memory: Wow, my best childhood memory..maybe on Easter, I think I was 12, maybe 11 years old, and my mother brought me this yellow dress with this yellow cape, and I went across to the neighborhood church and I sung a song. I don't remember the song, it could have been “Amazing Grace“; but I do believe that is the best part of my childhood.


Food: Bananas


Drink: Green tea, now I love green tea; back then it was different.


Color: Red


Thing to do: Now that I'm saved, my favorite thing is to read the word.


Place in the city: A Starbucks. I love their tea.


Cartoon character: Superman


If you could live anywhere in the world where would you go and why? I'd probably say still Philly even though it brought a lot of pain and stuff; I'd still say Philly. You know what? Since I became an activist out of it, I've been so involved in the political arena. I mean, just City Hall and political officials, courts, and things. I just feel the need to give back and change, especially in Philly cause that's where I was born.


What inspires you? I am a lover of Christ so, you know, God inspires me. I met him 13 years ago, and he's my inspiration.


What are some of your goals? Long-term and/or short-term. Long-term goal is to tell people my story of homelessness and abuse. I do believe there is a power behind the story, so my long-term goal is to tell the story of where God has brought me from and put that in someone else's heart and just let them know that he is a deliverer. Short-term goal, I never thought about a short-term goal. I guess my daughter getting pregnant soon. That would be a goal, I would be a grandmother.


If you could be any animal, what would you be and why? I think I probably would be a lion. They say that lions are treacherous animals because they're big, but I believe they're just calm at heart.


Tell me about the craziest dream you have ever had. I remember I used to live at 18th and Montgomery, and I always used to get up out of the bed and jump on the roof on the second floor, jump to the backyard, and just run. It always used to be dark and I used to just run, run, and it just kept going and kept going. Unfortunately I don't have them anymore, but that was the craziest dream.


What is one thing that you want people to know about you? I have a genuine heart and my love and passion for God has just brought me and will take me far. My love for the Lord is more than I want them to know. You know, back then it was a lot of other things. I keep sayin' that, but now it's my love and passion for God.

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"human." is a culmination of the writing, photo, video and design work of Harrison Brink and Alisa Miller. It is meant to act as a forum where we show the vitality of the human spirit through the strife that people face and overcome. If you have any suggestions for the project, please contact us. All input is welcome.