That incredibly exciting map represents our 2012 Summer of Solutions programs. Returning programs are blue; new programs are green. Read more about these programs after the jump and get ready to watch this space for posts from all these amazing program planning teams.
Hartford, CT and the new programs in Johnson City/Northeastern Tennessee and White Earth, MN are getting geared up to run food justice-focused programs. The Hartford program will be expanding to more gardens in the Frog Hollow neighborhood and starting more programing like cooking skill shares. In a county where 1 in 3 children suffers from hunger, the Tennessee program will start an urban community garden to supply local food kitchens with fresh produce and connect people to “wildcrafting,” or using traditional methods to find their own food from their environment. The program at White Earth will connect Native youth with traditional methods of collecting and preparing food.
In East Oakland, CA, last year’s program leaders and participants are still working on a thriving urban garden and plan to bring social and prison justice in to their program. In New York City, NY, the new program will build on the momentum of Occupy Wall Street to create justice and empower marginalized young people to become leaders of the green economy. In Seattle, WA, program leaders will integrate their green economy solutions into the Young People’s Manifesto, bringing in many arts and media projects.
The programs in Portland, OR; the Twin Cities, MN; and Iowa City, IA will continue or launch community engagement campaigns around energy efficiency, mobilizing our communities to build a clean energy economy. The Iowa City team, as well as the Green Energy Leadership Team in Detroit, MI, will continue working to put solar panels on schools in their neighborhoods.
In West Virginia, Build-It-Up! West Virginia will continue to create economic development as an alternative to destructive coal mining in the state. On the other end of the country, the new Los Angeles, CA program will be developing green jobs for young people in partnership with La Causa, a well-established community organization. In Franklin County, MA, the program will help local youth coordinate community education in partnership with the Brick House, a cornerstone of the Turners Falls community.
Summer of Solutions in Chicago, IL; Raleigh, NC; and new programs in Lexington, KY will work with children to grow the next generation of green economy leaders. LET’S GO Chicago will teach children in the Rogers Park neighborhood to grow their own food for their third year, as well as launching a business installing rain gardens in a neighborhood plagued by run-off. Full Circles Foundation will build off an amazing first summer in Raleigh and expand to Lexington to run summer camps for girls with high potential but big challenges to learn how to respect and take care of their communities, their environments, and themselves.
Many new programs are partnering with their local schools. In Middleton, WI the program will partner with the school district to teach middle- and high school-aged youth about farming. In Stuttgart, AR, program leaders will create summer opportunities for high schoolers to build the green economy and close the achievement gap. In Denver, CO, the program will work with the schools to provide bikes for kids and build gardens at schools located in food deserts.
This post shows just brief snapshots of the amazing work of each these programs is doing and will do. I hope this post forms a collage of the just, green economy that Summer of Solutions is building all around the country. Watch this space for posts elaborating on the work of each specific program over the coming weeks!