Sunday, May 8, 2011

Building Community and Creating Hope

Yesterday was a great day for building community and creating hope. As bell hooks writes in Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope, "educators who have dared to study, and learn, [and practice] new ways of thinking and teaching so that the work we do does not reinforce systems of domination, of imperialism, racism, sexism or class elitism have created a pedagogy of hope."

We started out our Saturday with an amazing breakfast at and great conversation about about education, community and empowerment, programs for youth and our hopes for the future together at the Tekrema Center for Art and Culture.

Next we spent some time talking with friends, neighbors and allies at the Sankofa Farmers Market at the corner of Caffin and St. Claude in the Lower 9th Ward.  It's great having a farmers market with multiple vendors and great people in the Lower 9th Ward that can provide access to fresh, local produce.

We left the market talking about and making plans for how we can work with with our students and other local families to build more gardens, create more vendors for the market, and support youth entrepreneurship.

After the market, we volunteered at the Fourth World Movement's Street Library in the 7th Ward.  It was a great experience to read to and with, create art, and play with children.  Young people could come and go, listen to stories, read alone, with an adult, student volunteers, or with each other. With Mothers Day coming up, we also spent time talking about the importance of the mothers in our lives, and the strength and power women have while making candles and mother's day cards.  Now we're planning for the development of a weekly Lower 9th Ward Street Library.  Seeing young people and adults learning, laughing, playing and creating together in an environment of freedom brings us hope. Read Anthony's reflections on the Street Library HERE.

Speaking of the necessity to cultivate hope Brazilian educator Paulo Freire reminds us: "The struggle for hope means the denunciation, in no uncertain terms of all abuses... As we denounce them we awaken in others the need, and also the taste for hope." Our hopefulness empowers us to continue our work for justice. As teachers we enter all opportunities with our students and the community with hope. Freire contends: "Whatever perspective through which we appreciate authentic educational practice-it's process implies hope."

No comments:

Post a Comment