Thirteen first-year students and three local organizations form partnerships to foster solidarity in our St. Louis community
Throughout the Spring 2021 semester, the students of the Ampersand Global Citizenship Program will be participating in a community-based learning initiative with three local organizations: Solidarity Economy, Vitendo 4 Africa, and St. Louis Inter-faith Committee on Latin America. These organizations were chosen for the ways in which they embody the mission of the Global Citizenship Program: to accept our shared responsibilities to each other as humans, and to contribute to the formation of local and global communities grounded in solidarity and mutual empowerment. Each of these organizations implements unique methods to advance this mission and address societal issues within our St. Louis region and beyond.
In small groups, the students will be collaborating with the staff, volunteers, and communities affiliated with their assigned organization. While community-based learning projects such as these are flexible and prone to shifts, the current project ideas have emerged through the partnerships thus far:
- Solidarity Economy: Students will connect local individuals with resources and aid as they work as responders for the St. Louis Mutual Aid Hotline.
- Vitendo 4 Africa: Students will develop and implement an after-school public speaking program for African youth. The program will end with a final debate competition.
- St. Louis Inter-faith Committee on Latin America (IFCLA): Students will create educational material on IFCLA’s accompaniment and advocacy programs using a variety of methods and mediums (story banking, informational videos, etc.) with the purpose of transforming the community into well-informed change-makers.
Our hope is that this will be a transformative experience for the students, the organizations, and the communities that they serve. The GCP students will gain new perspectives, valuable work experience, and a deeper sense of what it takes to be a critical global citizen in a real-world context. The organizations and their affiliated communities will benefit from the students’ work, energy, and creativity. Most importantly, we hope that these partnerships will bond and strengthen all of our communities: our Washington University community, our St. Louis community, and our global community.