Over the past few weeks in Arleta, we have been prepping for a summer of solutions where our focus will be community involvement in the city of Arleta and the surrounding cities (Pacoima, Panorama City, Van Nuys.) We have been reaching out to parents, students, and teachers at the garden where we have received support.
We are reminded that the garden would not have been possible without the help from the 10 volunteers and the 80 hours that we all have dedicated. We only hope for anyone who eyes the garden to think briefly that people in the community care and want to create a space for children to visually see the beauty, and the gifts that this earth continues to bless us with. Kids are asking questions about the garden and if they can help watering the garden. That is enough to keep the children engaged in something that can show them about how nature works. Continue reading
One of my personal sheroes, the 97-year-old Detroit activist Grace Lee Boggs, talks often about the importance of keeping an “ear to the ground, ” or understanding deeply the evolution and current struggles of the community within which one is working. But staying grounded and aware can be difficult, especially as a Summer of Solutions program coordinator responsible for logistical planning that leaves me with less time than I would like to be out directly engaging with community members and surveying the social/physical/economic/political environment.
Several recent occurrences have been jolting reminders of the importance of remaining grounded. One realization was thanks to a friend who came to our April 27th garden work day and imparted some of her knowledge of Permaculture design. She was helping us to build a lasagna bed, which basically incorporates layers of green material (nitrogen-rich) and brown material (carbon-rich) over a layer of weed block (pictures below!). I was lamenting the fact that we hadn’t bought mulch or synthetic weed block, but she said, “what do you mean? It’s all around us for free!” She sent a team down the alley behind the garden and they returned with wheelbarrows full of fallen leaves, which made excellent mulch. We raided recycle bins nearby for discarded newspaper and snipped overgrown bushes and vines in an empty lot next door for green material. The world is brimming with ample and free resources, if only we can open our eyes and our minds enough to SEE! Continue reading
Rebekah Israel was a Summer Fellow with the Raleigh Strong Camps in the summer of 2012. Since then, she has continued to work on issues related to girls’ empowerment, economic justice, and sustainability. In this entry, Rebekah shares with us her recent experiences in South Africa, where she participated in an alternative break trip that focused on gender equality, youth empowerment, and HIV/AIDS. Read on!
Hello world! My name is Rebekah Israel and I had the honor to work with Full Circles in the summer of 2012. It was an incredible experience and I feel blessed to have met all the girls of the 2012 Strong Camps. Since then, I trekked back to Washington, D.C. where I currently attend graduate school at American University. At American, I spent most of my time this past fall semester planning an alternative break trip that would become instrumental to who I am and what I want to do with my life. Alternative breaks provide students an opportunity to engage in a particular social justice issue either domestically or abroad during one of their breaks from school. “Alt breaks” usually incorporate a service component in which students work on specific project in addition to a learning component that stresses the connection of specific experiences to broader social justice issues.
It’s already been a busy month in Middleton!
Kids in the Garden: We just wrapped-up our first after school program! We had a wonderful five weeks learning about the greenhouse and seed starting, planning dream gardens, preparing the garden for planting, and cooking!
Showing off their dream gardens
We made many tasty seasonal dishes with the kids including carrot muffins, apple crisp, spinach frittata, and oven fries. Our snack for the last day of the program was 5 weeks in the making: we planted greens in the greenhouse back in April and they were finally big enough to harvest for a tasty salad. We made a home made balsamic vinaigrette dressing and enjoyed the fruits of our labors Continue reading
This post is by Kwame Ntiri Owusu-Daaku, program leader at Iowa City Summer of Solutions.
I can’t believe I have changed this much in a year. I can’t believe I’ve stayed involved this much for a year either. What started out as a the need to find a summer internship in Iowa City has turned into an amazing journey of discovery from which I’m moving on to a PhD in Geography in which I plan to focus on development and climate change adaptation.
Kwame learns to caulk a window.
I came to Iowa City in August 2011 to begin a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Iowa. Before then, climate change for me was something Americans and Europeans rambled on about. Coming from Ghana, I was more concerned about social and economic sustainability than environmental protection and preservation. For me then, the tensions inherent in environment versus people and economy saw an obvious winner – I wasn’t about to let people continue to be impoverished while the ground lay fallow. I’ve expanded my thought processes since then and now I have no clear cut solutions. Continue reading
FCF Joins One Billions Rising along with other Community Organizations
On February 15, Full Circles Foundation joined Cirque de Vol for an event celebrating One Billion Rising, a global activist movement to end violence against women and girls. Seventy-five people came together to enjoy a parade/march in downtown Raleigh, speakers and performers, and a local market and non-profit fair. Part of the donations received throughout the day went to support the 2013 Raleigh Strong Camp! One Billion Rising organizer, Grayson Gant, reports that “on the day of and during the event, people were smiling at us, running through the hills of downtown to join us in our march, stomping their feet and honking their horns at us as we marched by. It was beautiful to see Raleigh come alive and I was proud to see they welcomed our approach to sharing love, joy, and our vision for a beautiful and healthy world!” Grayson says she was particularly touched by “two women who had three children with them who joined our march – one lady asked us what we were marching for and I told her – she proceeded to tell me that last month her ex had severely beaten her and broken her nose in several places- we both teared up and we hugged and I told her I was happy she was with us today- they stayed with us for the rest of the march and for the public speaking events that followed on the lawn. It felt very healing, empowering and intense.”
**Many thanks to Cirque de Vol for including FCF Raleigh in this amazing day of empowerment.**
Community members supporting One Billion Rising in Downtown Raleigh!
Partnership Highlight: Center for Human – Earth Restoration (CHER) and FCF Unite! Continue reading
By: Dorthea Thomas
Northeast Detroit is an area stricken with environmental degradation, illegal dumping, and an unreliable trash management system. Because of this, months of trash and debri starts to pile up in our communities leaving the health and safety of our residents at risk.
However the team of HOPE4GREEN Detroit is pushing to restore Northeast Detroit with community clean-ups, urban gardening, and boarding up abandoned homes that are open and dangerous.