Monday, June 1, 2009

Youth Expo: a Summer Kickoff!

One of the fun aspects of my job as Director of Contexual Ministry at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago is that I get to attend meetings of community organizations and community events. I took the pictures below in May when the Alderman's office co-sponsored a Youth Expo along with Pasha Hunt-Golliday, Executive Director of Washington Park & Area Homeowners Association. Pasha did an outstanding job attracting vendors that ranged from health services, early childhood development centers, literacy, Housing Authority (featuring a scholarship program, entrepreneurial youth organizations (one bought their silk screening apparatus and demonstrated silk screening while also selling their wares).

Pasha and I both serve on the Alderman's 20th Ward Women's Auxiliary. There were so many things going on the day of the Youth Expo that none of the other members were able to attend. They were off doing other things. I had offered to staff a resource table for the Women's Auxiliary. So I put together a flyer for the table, went by the Alderman's office and gathered up some resource materials for the table. A large number of new books and magazines were donated for the table that we gave away as freebies. I made a sign and that attracted a lot of traffic. While we had a lot of vendors the Expo did not draw as many youth as I am sure the promoters would have liked.

The Women's Auxiliary was started by Alderman Willie Cochran. The focus of the Women's Auxiliary is youth, parent involvement and literacy. We have identified a school that has a parent safety patrol program that needs to be expanded. We have targetted the school to focus on to help increase the parent involvement.

So what does all this have to do with what I do at the School? It is all about building relationships in the community and getting familiar with the resources.

Question: What is your involvement in your community? How do you give back and show your support? How might the gifts that you have to offer benefit the community?
Blessings! Rev. Qiyamah

l-r Sista Muhammad, a former Olympic track medalist and Willie Cochran, 20th Ward Alderman and retired policeman

Willie Cochran, 20th Ward Alderman - Cochran was elected last year and replaced a black woman Alderman that is being prosecuted for mismanagement of funds. People speculate that she will go to prison. He is doing a great job and I am observing politics on the ground. It appears that short of the Board of Education that Alderman and City Council are the most accessible route to civic involvement for citizens that want to be directly involved in influencing county and city government.

One of the vendors provided free massages for the Expo participants.

left - Pasha Hunt-Golliday, the organizer of the Youth Expo

This is the flyer that I created for the table I staffed. It is a simple skill using microsoft word's template and clip art. I created and printed the flyer at the Alderman's office. He has promised flyers and a banner for future events! I plan to hold him to it!

No comments: