This blog is dedicated to detailing the fun times spent in Chicago as well as share all of the lessons I have learned with anyone who wants to listen!
It’s a ridiculous hour and here I am writing a blog post. I’m awake because I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep because things are getting real. Things are getting real because the program has come to an end and people are packing up and going home. We were warned at the beginning at the program, but I didn’t believe it. The program went by so quickly! I’m not really sure how to feel. I’m anxious to go back to my campus and share everything I have learned and to show others how I have grown as a result of this program. At the same time, I am sad to leave. This experience has changed me in ways I cannot explain, and I don’t I will even comprehend the extent of this change until months after I return to my campus. I have this city to thank for many things and as corny as it sounds, I have memories I will carry with me forever. I appreciate everything that this city has shown me, show no regrets to anything I’ve done while I was here, and NEVER forget the friends I have made. I know that I did not update this blog on a regular basis, but to whoever is reading this, I want you to know that this program is completely worth it. Don’t believe the hype about going overseas when there are programs like this in the US. I don’t think programs like this get the recognition they deserve and its a shame.
I’m not sure if our program faculty will see this, but if you’re reading this, THANK YOU.
As for myself, I’m on to the next phase, taking with me everything I have learned this semester.
Open House Chicago 10.15.11
Southside Community Arts Center
Tuesday we visited the Academy for Global Citizenship on the West Side, where there are little kids are learning about sustainability. The entire operation is pretty incredible and throwing kids into the mix makes it that more amazing. Kindergarten to third graders learning to recycle, compost, and grow food is crazy. Little change agents in the making!
Today we visited the Growing Power HQ in Chicago. It sits between the Chicago River and an industrial park in Bridgeport. It is a converted abandoned trucking depot. They’re take on social justice, in addition to growing food, is equal access to all. They employ and train people of lower income neighborhoods on urban farming. They also assist with community gardens in areas that have public housing. All around a beautiful operation. So sustainable, nothing goes to waste!
Can’t wait to have a little garden of my own!
Haven’t updated this in a while. Oops.
So much has happened since my last post that I can’t remember everything. I’ll start this up again starttttinnnngggg NOW.
ABCD = Asset Based Community Development.
Earlier this week, Jody Kretzmann, founder of the ACM Urban Studies program as well as co-director for the Asset Based Community Development Institute of Northwestern University. He acquainted us with the idea of asset mapping a neighborhood as well as this history of community organizations in the city. The practice is based on assisting a community grow starting with the resources/ capabilties that it already has. The idea is that the best way to help a community is to empower it first and the be cognizant that when trying to help people sometimes marginalize the community, and to be mindful of that.
**excuse the blur**
This past week went by veryyyyyy quickly. I would say the highlight was getting to meet/listen to Rahm Emmanuel, mayor of Chicago. He shook my hand!!!!! But anyway, we also were given the chance to listen to a lecture by Alderman Joe Moore of the 49th Ward. He explained the duties of an alderman as well of initiatives in his neighborhood of Roger’s Park. One of the things that he said that stuck with me was that, “Government should not be run like a business.” The neighborhood itself it beautiful. It is the most northern part of the city before you get to Evanston. It is said to be one of the more welcoming neighborhoods for artists and was called the Hyde Park of the northside.
Every Friday, we receive an email called the “Friday Memo” that tells us about whats going on in the city that weekend. There are soooooo many things to do, it’s crazy. Today I decided to go to the Renegade Craft Fair. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures, but it was pretty cool. It was in Wicker Park, on W. Division St. It was like a giant Etsy fair! Anything had crafted you could think of was there. That whole area is pretty cool and somewhere worth visiting, even without the fair.