Starting our service today was more incredible than any of us could have imagined. We knew about GO! from their website but our community partner Marilyn Bass blew our minds with information, stories, and progress that Green Opportunities (GO!) has achieved in the low-income communities in Asheville. I will leave our blogger for the day to describe more about our activities, the Peace Garden, and what we learned about Environmental Justice in Asheville thus far.
What I really wanted to talk about was our reflection session last night. It began with a team builder called “Who am I?” led by Camila and Julia. We all had people or character’s names taped to our foreheads and went around asking the group about our person trying to guess who we were. It was our first game-type activity on the trip that really resonated a feeling of bonded fun among the members. We followed with Zsck and Anh’s reflection activity – a personal journaling time and sharing circle. This allowed us to reflect on our expectations for our trip, set some personal goals, think about our first impressions of Asheville, and then combine all of our thoughts together as we shared. I really enjoyed the actively engaged conversation that began about the role of service in the Environmental Justice movement, about social inequity, and the touches of what I am sure will turn into discussions about multicultural competency. Many of us were eager to see how downtown Asheville differed from the outer-parts of the city. We have questions about demographics of the county and how the wealth is distributed. Our adventures around the peace garden today taught us a lot about these topics; I cannot wait to learn more!
That’s the tid bit I wanted to share for now. Thank you for reading.