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Posts from the ‘community engagement’ Category
RIGHT TO THE CITY – CURTIS BAY: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT THROUGH A MOBILE APP EXPLORATORY SESSION BY BUS
Right to the City – Curtis Bay: Community Engagement through a Mobile App Exploratory Session by Bus | Sponsored by Towson University
Anthropology students and faculty at Towson University along with the United Workers-Free Your Voice have been working on a participatory action research project with high-school students in environmental science classes to qualitatively study the environmental hazards in South Baltimore. Curtis Bay, Maryland is located in the southern portion of the City of Baltimore, Maryland. The neighborhood is located in a highly industrialized waterfront area in the southern part of the city and receives its name from the body of water to the east of which it sits. The area has had a toxic history.
Historic Sediments of Global Trade
During the 19th century, guano fertilizer from Peru was a prized commodity, particularly around the Chesapeake bay where both cotton and tobacco had drained the soil of its nutrients. Guano imports which migrated through and often remained in Curtis Bay initiated a long period of uneven disposal of hazardous and/or toxic materials in the soils, air, and bodies of residents.
Prudential Oil Corporations in 1914 established a refinery in the middle of the Peninsula. Texas Oil Company of Delaware was established before the end of WWI. By the end of 1918, the Fairfield Peninsula was home to at least three petroleum product refineries and several fertilizer plants. Oil refining exposes the surrounding community to the risk of intense explosions while coal dust exacerbates lung and cardiovascular diseases.
Shipbuilding, Ship Breakdown in a Postindustrial wasteland
The Wartime efforts in the 1940s to manufacture materials needed to fortify American troops affected Curtis Bay. During this period, thousands of workers from WVA and elsewhere in Appalachia and African Americans migrated to Fairfield Peninsula for jobs in the shipbuilding and other emergent wartime industries. White workers received decent government subsidized housing while Blacks continued to be exiled to Old Fairfield only having access to substandard housing. The memories of expansive capitalism, exploitative laboring relations, race/class based discrimination, and toxicity do not simply linger as a historic artifact but rather continue to define how this landscape is viewed in Baltimore.
The Next Step in Curtis Bay’s Steady Decline into Toxicity
In 2009, Energy Answers announced it would build the nation’s largest trash-to-energy incinerator in Fairfield and presented the project as a solution to two crises: the waste crisis and the energy crisis. Energy Answers International promoted the project as a power plant providing schools and other facilities with “green energy.” The incinerator was originally slated to be sited less than a mile from Benjamin Franklin High School and Curtis Bay Elementary, which state environmental regulations wouldn’t have typically allowed (no incinerator can be built that close to a school). However, when the Public Service Commission approved the incinerator as an energy plant.*
Seize this opportunity to explore the Curtis Bay Area and the social justice work with Nicole Fabricant, Matthew Durington, and Samuel Collins, Ph.D.s, Associate Professors, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice at Towson University along with the students and community agencies.
*For more on the Campaign to bring to an end the Trash to Energy Incinerator, See https://stoptheincinerator.wordpress.com/
#CLDE17 Quick Links
In 1971, the United States of America ratified the 26th Amendment to the Constitution granting the right to vote to 18-20-year-olds. The 26th Amendment was the fastest to be ratified in U.S. history yet young people consistently comprise the smallest active voting bloc. At institutions such as the University of Houston-Downtown (Texas) engaging students in politics including voter registration and turnout can be especially difficult because although it is a four-year, public university it is considered a commuter institution, with more than 14,000 primarily undergraduate students and one of the most ethnically diverse institutions in the nation. UHD is recognized as a federally qualified Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and a Minority Serving Institution (MSI) which have historically low voting populations. Student leaders from UHD’s student government association have decided to take things into their own hands through a civic engagement initiative called “Walk 2 Vote.”
While there are hundreds of organizations that focus on increasing youth voting turnout and engagement, Walk 2 Vote is one of the only programs created, organized and led by students. UHD students began the Walk to Vote initiative in 2012 and have continued it annually. In 2012, a record 70% of UHD students were registered to vote, and according to the latest results from the National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE), 71.5% of those students actually voted and the overall voting rate of UHD students was 50%. Data from 2014, a non-presidential year, still demonstrates a robust registration rate of 65%. Data indicate a possible correlation between Walk 2 Vote and the significantly unexpectedly high voter registration and turnout at UHD.
The Walk 2 Vote movement consists of three phases which are 1) foundation, 2) creation, and 3) celebration.
The main objective of the foundation phase is to set registration goals, organize a planning committee, create timelines and host voter deputy trainings (if required by state law).
The creation phase consists of implementation of marketing campaigns, voter information sharing (e.g., public deliberations, debates, issue forum), and voter registration campaigns.
The celebration phase consists of the actual Walk 2 Vote event that features dancers, musical performances, and national keynote speakers. From there, we “walk 2 Vote” en masse to nearby poll during early voting. The actual Walk 2 Vote event can vary based on state and local voting laws, polling availability, etc.
In our upcoming webinar we will share the key components and philosophies that are important to successfully empower students to become civically engaged. We will also share details of the Walk 2 Vote model including resource packets, contests, funding leads and marketing resources, opportunities to highlight your campuses achievements and connections to organizations that will support your efforts.
Voting is a right and a privilege that should be exercised to all eligible voters. It is through voting for knowledgeable and committed officials that we can all move the nation along the correct path in ensuring peace and equity for all its citizens, and interactions with the world. Many Americans, especially minority and youth, are ill-informed about issues and have little to no desire to vote. It is through gaining knowledge,
deliberating upon the issues, and exercising the right to vote that people gain a voice in the trajectory of the country. Once people are engaged, they begin to take a deeper interest in the problems that plague the nation and consider solutions.
Please join us on Thursday July 28th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for a webinar featuring Walk2Vote Co-Founder John Locke and follow Walk 2 Vote on social media: https://www.facebook.com/Walk2Vote/, https://www.instagram.com/walk2vote/, https://twitter.com/walk2vote.
ADP Campuses in the News | February 2016 Edition
ADP in the News is a compilation of brief updates about American Democracy Project (ADP) activities at participating colleges and universities and is a semi-regular news feature on our blog. Below you will find the latest edition of this series.
2016 College Convention: AASCu’s American Democracy Project is a supporting partner for the 2016 College Convention, a forum for students to discuss election issues that are important to them in ways that resonate with them. Dominican University of California is hosting this initiative as a Voter Education Partner of the Commission on Presidential Debates and is accepting applications from students in all 50 states and the District of Columbia to serve as College Convention delegates. Selected students will meet on the Dominican campus June 2-3 to discuss organizing events on their campuses and using social media to catalyze discussions among young voters across the country about the issues that matter most to them. For more information, click here.
Fort Hays State University (Kan.): One of Herbert’s poster designs went viral after the contest winners were posted on the university’s Facebook page. Her poster about human trafficking and according to Facebook estimates reached over 5.5 million users — one million in the first 36 hours.
FHSU ADP and Black Student Union students spoke out for equality. Students expressed their take on the importance of Black History Month and equality in society by taking photos of students who had written out their feelings on either subject. A wide variety of students participated in this project and voiced high levels of support for the idea. To read more on the event, click here.
Indiana State University: Indiana State University’s American Democracy Project kicked off its Pizza & Politics series in the New Hampshire first primary election, to educate students about the process of electing the next president.
Keene State College (N.H.): KSC in collaboration with ADP hosted eight presidential candidates, including Democrats Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton and Republicans Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina to discuss their platform. Members of the college and city communities had a forum to debate their issues.
Kennesaw State University (Ga.): American Democracy Project and a few other organizations came together Tuesday night to watch President Barack Obama’s final State of the Union Address. Find out more here.
Middle Tennessee State University: Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish prayers and blessings were given before the Thai and Laotian meal at the temple on Barfield Crescent Road. The interfaith meal was part of a broader project to help bridge cultures organized by Mary Evins, associate professor of history at Middle Tennessee State University and the coordinator at the American Democracy Project at the university.
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith: Arkansas-Fort Smith hosted a weekend-long event honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. and co-sponsored with ADP at an event, “Protect and Serve”, that honored local law enforcement and firefighters.
University of Central Oklahoma: UCO’s ADP hosted an event to teach students how to be prepared to be knowledgeable, involved citizens in their communities once they graduate college. To read more, click here.
University of North Georgia: UNG has partnered with Democracy Works, Inc. to research the integration of civic engagement into existing technology on college and university campuses across the country. To read more, click here.
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh: The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s American Democracy Project hosted an event with David Canon, a political science professor at UW-Madison, a lecture titled: “Voter ID, Early Voting and Voting Rights: Will Changes in Voting Laws Affect the 2016 Elections?”
If you have an ADP event you’d like posted in this format, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A Ticket to the Middle Class: A Student Public Policy Summit on Higher Education
We welcome you to join us for the very first ADP/TDC Economic Inequality Initiative Student Summit! This event, coordinated by students, staff and faculty from both Keene State College (N.H.) and Mount Wachusett Community College (Mass.), will provide opportunities for students from across the Northeast region to participate in a mock Congress, hear expert perspectives on economic inequality, and network with their peers.
Over two days, students will come together to discuss, debate and learn about the proposals for free college. Ultimately, students will develop and vote upon a resolution, and will have the opportunity to submit their recommendations to their elected officials and institutions of higher education.
Students will examine the cost of higher education, including issues of student debt, and proposals for free college/free tuition/debt free college; the value of higher education, and what a college degree means for those who have it and those who do not; how to fund higher education more effectively, and specifically, if some form of higher education is made free; and, access to higher education, including such issues as placement testing and discussions of higher education as a right vs. a privilege.
When: Saturday, April 2 at 9 a.m. EDT to Sunday, April 3 at 3 p.m. EDT
Where: Keene State College, Main St., Keene, NH 03435
Institutions may register up to 20 students each. All undergraduate students must be registered with an advisor from their institution. A registration fee of $85/participant will be due before the event.
Register and find more information here.