Fighting Poverty with Passion
In keeping with the general spirit of 90% of written material this time of year—both digital and ink-and-paper—I’d like to skip talking about news in December and wax nostalgic about the year to this point. Or something like that; it’s awfully hard to wax nostalgic about something you’re still in the thick of, but it’s hard to consider where I was as a VISTA a year ago without feeling like there has been a lot of progress.
This time last year, I was feeling my way forward through the first job I’d ever had in a city that I was still getting the hang of living in. During a service project at Moton Charter School last December, I remember someone from the Guardians Institute mentioning off-hand that moving to New Orleans from certain parts of the country could be like moving to a different country entirely. (Given that the day culminated in a kindergarten-comprehensible lesson on jazz history and a Mardi Gras Indians performance, I can’t raise issue with his claim.)
I had an incredible amount of support at the time—that I’m still a VISTA, still in New Orleans, and proud of those two facts is due in large part to the great people who took an interest in my well-being. This may have been a more appropriate Thanksgiving post, because what I ultimately am building towards an expression of appreciation for the support network I have. More than anything else, that’s what the end of the year has contributed to my perspective on my work.
You come here for CBNO news though, so here is a quick-and-loose description of my December, as of the 18th: It looks a lot like last month. Progress is being made on the Blight Resource Guide—slow, interminable progress—and neighborhood mapping is stuck on the cusp of moving forward in huge leaps and bounds. At least I hope so. It is definitely stuck on the cusp of something. Fingers-crossed, fingers-crossed, fingers-crossed that the cusp in question belongs to a lot of progress.
I was also able to attend a community organizing training run by the Midwest Academy that was very informative.
Have a safe and happy holiday!