Fighting Poverty with Passion
The summer fellowship started yesterday – crazy how in these past couple months, time seems to just fly away. Great to get to know a new group of students; I’m excited to learn, grow with, and challenge them over the next 8 weeks. I also really want to get better at facilitation and leading discussions. As an introvert, I think it’s easy for me to just listen to what the students are saying, but I need to work on steering the discussion back when we get too off-topic. (Though as someone who thrives on tangents, don’t know if I’m the best person for that…)
As a volunteer with the Peoples Assembly (in my free time), I’ve also been thinking a lot about community organizing, and the skills necessary to create a broad-based mass movement of people working towards the same goal. How do nonprofits (and all of its connective parts: eg. foundations, government officials, consumers, corporations, etc.) undercut the work of mass movements for social change? Maybe I’m just being too cynical, but I think most nonprofits are more concerned about keeping their program alive and paying their staff, rather than building coalitions of organizations and people working towards gaining human rights for all people in society.
Thinking also about accessibility and equity in the Tulane AmeriCorps program. It seems incredible that we continue to have glutinous snacks with no alternative when one of our members is severely allergic to gluten. I love snacks, don’t get me wrong, but I think we should be able to provide snacks that everyone can eat. I also think about the transparency of current policies, like how to re-enroll in VISTA or apply for the VISTA Leader position — how do we make the rules easier to understand, and allow all applicants who want to apply for these positions able to apply?