You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Community Friends’ category.
How connected are we? Take the survey and share your thoughts!
I recently watched the African Day parade which traveled down my street in Harlem, and attended the festival in Marcus Garvey park. It was a paradoxical experience for me. On one hand, it felt familiar, and I felt connected. I saw familiar skin tones that spoke different languages, and heard rhythms that I felt on a cosmic level. On the other hand, I felt as if I were in the midst of distant relatives that I had never seen and may never really know. And this, in a nutshell, is the relationship between Africa and her diaspora as I see it in America.
Having been raised in the Bronx and Harlem and living in Harlem now, I have been and continue to be nurtured by the spirit of a rich diversity whose foundation is rooted in African culture, and expressed through African, African American, Latino and Caribbean presence and culture. I am a child of the 70s, and Africa was infused in the soundtrack and landscape of my upbringing. Black was a beautiful desire to connect to the continent, almost as a respite from the deterioration of the Bronx and Harlem at that time.
I have also, unfortunately, witnessed divisions and misunderstandings. From overheard negative statements and to conversations that I have witnessed over the years among my older relatives, there is a definite distrust of the unfamiliar, and a fearful unwillingness to become familiar that exists even to this day.
This country is becoming more polarized with each passing day, so it is increasingly important to examine the sources of all of our divisions and close the gaps where possible. I have decided to start with my own community.
So where do you think Africa and its diaspora stand – are we united or divided? Take this survey and add your voice to the conversation.
Miriam Moore is currently enrolled in online courses at The CUNY School of Professional Studies. Follow her on Twitter.
The following was submitted by Brandon M. Chiwaya (Murphy Institute ’13):
After graduating from SPS in June, I reached out to Tanya Fields for a bit of career advice. Tanya (who you may remember from my last blog post was the commencement speaker at the spring 2013 SPS graduation ceremony) is the executive director of The BLK ProjeK, a food justice and community development organization in the South Bronx. About a week or two after graduation I sat down with Tanya over a cup of coffee to talk about strategies for career planning. As the conversation gradually shifted toward The BLK ProjeK, Tanya mentioned she was extremely busy planning the upcoming launch of The South Bronx Mobile Market, her latest project. In fact the project was growing so fast she was looking to bring someone new onboard to help mitigate the workload. Tanya floated a proposal to me to come work with her, to which I quickly accepted.
Since the beginning of the summer, the launching of the South Bronx Mobile Market (SBMM) has been the main focus of the organization. The SBMM is a former school bus, which has been repainted (in a cool paint scheme) and converted to run on used vegetable oil. When fully operational, the SBMM will supply the neighborhoods of the South Bronx with fresh, organic, and locally grown Hudson Valley produce.
New York state’s 16th congressional district, which encompasses the South Bronx, was ranked number one in the 2011-2012 Food Hardship Poll and is the poorest of the 436 congressional districts in the United States. Combined with an over abundance of fast food and take out establishments, area residents rank among the nation’s highest in health related problems due to poor food nutrition. This makes the work of The BLK ProjeK, and the SBMM all the more vital to the local community.
I hit the ground running on my first day at The BLK ProjeK. With the launch of the mobile market only a few weeks away, there was no time to waste. Creating a community needs assessment and survey to help understand the local attitudes toward healthy eating was my first assignment. Feeling a bit unsure where to start with such a task and halfway freaking out, I quickly reached out to a few of my former SPS professors for help. Professor Michael McNeil who teaches Research Methods and Professor Basil Smikle, Jr., who teaches Policy Analysis, were both willing to help out and give me some advice. Throughout this initial phase, it was incredible to know I was using skills and knowledge I’d acquired at SPS a few months ago in a practical application. In a matter of months I’d gone from sitting in Professor McNeil’s 6pm Thursday night class, wondering to myself, “when will I ever need to know about survey sets?” to creating my own. I’d gone from writing abstract policy papers in Professor Smikle’s class to drafting real research reports.
In addition to the mobile market, Tanya and The BLK ProjeK, have been working hard to turn a few vacant lots owned by New York City into urban gardens. Community organizing at this level presents its own share of obstacles. Canvassing neighborhoods, conducting bus tours, and holding community meetings requires an enormous amount of time and manpower. To help support the continued development of The BLK ProjeK, we will be hosting a fundraiser tonight, Thursday, September 5, at the Brook Park Community Garden. For more information about this event please visit: http://theblkprojek.ticketleap.com/an-evening-with-the-bus/.
To find out more about The BLK ProjeK or ways you can get involved and support our work, please contact us at email@example.com or call us at 718.635.0951, and the next time you find yourself in the South Bronx be sure to keep a look out for the colorful school bus.
Brandon M. Chiwaya studied Public Administration and Public Policy at the Murphy Institute, and is a class of 2013 CUNY SPS graduate. While in school, he was a member of the 2013-2014 Technology Budget Fee Committee, and was awarded the CUNY Vice Chancellor’s Excellence in Leadership Award. He is currently a Research Analyst with The BLK-ProjeK.
New Yorkers on the small screen! CUNY TV premieres several new shows on digital channel 25.3 this week. Based on the trailer there is something for everyone. Which one will you tune in to watch? Incredible Indies, Asian American Life, Surviving the Recession, or Arts in the City?
The BLK ProjeK is having a bus party!
The Intern Program provides college students the unique opportunity to work with State agencies to gain experience and a greater perspective of the professional world.
The program prepares students for careers in a wide array of occupational areas including but not limited to: public policy, legal specialties, budgeting, scientific research, human services, and contract management.
The Department of Civil Service is hosting the Student Intern Program Internship Portal through which interested students must:
- Submit an application, which includes providing contact information; academic background; occupational, employment and geographic preferences; and activity involvement.
- Upload a resume. Uploading of a two to three page writing sample illustrating your writing and analytical skills and a letter of recommendation are optional.
- Identify preferred internships.
To see what New York State agencies participate in the program and to get an idea of the types of internship opportunities that may be available, click here to view opportunities posted for the current session.
You may filter the list by several criteria, including degree concentration, occupational interest, and location.
- Be a US Citizen or foreign national eligible to work in the United States
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Be currently attending a New York State college, university, or graduate program, or be a resident of New York State, attending a college, university or graduate program outside of New York State. For Summer Internships Only: Attending a New York State school or being a New York State resident is NOT required.
- Have completed a minimum of one (1) year as a student at a degree-granting two or four-year College or University (completion of one year’s worth of academic credits over a more extended period of time may qualify part-time students for participation in the Student Intern Program); or a currently enrolled graduate student or accepted in a graduate degree program
- Have a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0, or equivalent to a C
- Good analytical and evaluative skills
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
- Good organizational skills, efficiency and flexibility
- Computer skills, including familiarity with Microsoft products (MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint), email software, internet searching, and other programs
Applicants may come from any academic discipline. Candidates must be available to work at assigned New York State offices. Opportunities are available statewide.
The FALL 2013 application period runs from April 15, 2013 through August 31, 2013.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the New New York Leaders: Student Intern Program, please contact our Student Intern Program Staff or at (518) 473 – 9945.