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!
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.
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.**
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.
Generation Know is a program started by the members of Girls For a Change, a non-profit organization sponsored by U by Kotex. The mission of Girls For a Change and Generation Know is to end the taboo about vaginas and women’s health by empowering girls and getting them to talk. As a society we don’t talk about the vagina, we might occasionally refer to it in a degrading way in a rap song or a movie but we don’t really just talk about what it is and what it needs.
Today we launched a 30 day campaign to raise $4,000 on ioby.org to support young people who want to dedicate their summers to working with Summer of Solutions Hartford!
We have so many wonderful applicants this year, and we're excited to invite them to join our program and spend their summers immersed in food justice; learning about urban agriculture, home sustainability, leadership development, and healthy cooking.
Originally posted, Feb 13, 2013
By Mary Anne Rojas
Summer of Solutions Ithaca is seizing what was once considered to be unimaginable and inaccessible in our time. Reminder, with the histories of revolutions, thus, the ability to see ourselves in mirrors, our generation is doing the imaginable and accessible. This summer, Ithaca will be multiplying this effort for a Sustainable Future. As a generation, we are proving to confront our courage by creating spaces where fear is molded into endurance. In case you are wondering, a Sustainable future is a solution already. Now, what do we do?
As you may have heard, New York State announced yesterday afternoon that the February deadlines will be missed, the reason given being that more time is necessary for the state’s health review. This is a magnificent opportunity to move forward with action and reaching out to more communities to ensure our voices are heard. Today enriches our generations goal by making evident that action asks and promises solution. This morning marks the day when Governor Cuomo was due to release the SGEIS and in doing so move ahead with fracking. Today, communities are sending appreciations to everyone’s courageous commitments and amazing work; we are celebrating all efforts. Though, we are aware of this journeys extended commitment, we are in agreements that this is also a beginning to a beautiful solution. Continue reading
This morning through my other job with the a middle school, I viewed a screening of the documentary Finding Kind with over 600 6th and 7th grade students. Briefly, Finding Kind features two mothers and daughters who travel cross-country spreading the importance of being kind to girls from kindergarten to 12th grade. The film focuses on “the girl world,” specifically the ways in which girls bully and mistreat other girls through name-calling, spreading rumors, and essentially, lowering each others self esteem.
As spring arrives, Full Circles Foundation Lexington is gearing up for summer! We getting ready to hire two new Summer Fellows and are preparing our spring fundraiser, which will be held at Lexington’s Orange Leaf. While supporters chow on tasty frozen yogurt, FCF Program Leaders, Summer Fellows, and volunteers will be on location spreading the importance of our three goals: supporting girls’ personal health and wellness, building girls’ skills and confidence as community change-agents, and fostering girls’ appreciation for the interdependence of life on earth.
We have also been hard at work recruiting future camp participants, by meeting with guidance counselors and social workers from local middle schools. We recently found out that at least 8 campers from last summer will be joking us for our second year, and we couldn’t be more excited! We are working on developing a mentor/mentee program in which campers from last year assist in guiding new campers through FCF’s Strong Camps. Continue reading
Summer of Solutions Ithaca continues to be hard at work with both fundraising and program development. It’s been a busy month for us… we’ve spent late nights furiously typing away on google docs for a grant application, spent hours on conference calls figuring out programming and application criteria, and tossed emails back and forth about housing decisions.
After spending many hours together trying to articulate our personal visions of program outcomes, key learnings, and goals for the project, we realized that our program and our community could benefit from a youth listening project. A listening project is a powerful organizing tool for nonviolent social change. A listening project builds trust and channels of communication within a community. It is a positive and sustainable form of community engagement that strengthens the ties people have to each other. It makes our communities more resistant and resilient to threats and injustices. By conducing a listening project and training for it in conjunction with our training institute, we can lay the groundwork for young people to engage in our community for future projects, actions, and communications around hydraulic fracturing, race, class, and other difficult topics. Continue reading