Posted: February 12, 2009
The Community-Based Learning (CBL) Program of the Weissman Center for Leadership and the Liberal Arts is offering a series of discussions this spring exploring the nature and impact of nonprofit organizations in the region, and presenting opportunities for members of the Mount Holyoke community to get involved with learning, action, and social change.
The series, Engaging the Pioneer Valley, launched February 9 with a session on environmental activism. The panelists included Julia Rivera, organizing director of Nuestras Raíces, a community development organization in Holyoke; Tina Clarke, campaign director of a joint project on climate change for Clean Water Action and the Sustainability Institute; John Grossman, manager of the ReStore in Springfield (a project of the Center for Ecological Technology); and Kristin DeBoer, executive director of the Amherst-based Kestrel Trust, a regional land preservation trust. Thirty-five students, staff, and faculty attended. The event was cosponsored by the Center for the Environment.
According to CBL coordinator Alan Bloomgarden, the series complements the College’s CBL program, in which students engage with local community organizations for hands-on learning opportunities via courses and fellowships in which students meet community needs as they learn. He hopes that the series will enable the Mount Holyoke community to learn first-hand about conditions and challenges facing area communities, while enhancing student and faculty involvement in solutions and social action.
Future sessions will include Human Services on February 23, Arts and Culture on March 9, Health on March 23, Education on April 13, and Advocacy on April 27. All will be held in Gamble Auditorium from 7:00-8:30 pm, and are free and open to the public.