Our vision is to create a vibrant community that supports and sustains its members as they work for economic, political, environmental, and social justice. We provide support for recent and older alums through several strategies.
Strengthening the Encampment’s ties to the Encampers’ home communities and drawing them into the greater EFC community. Encampment participants are recruited through local community organizations and youth programs that then become part of the larger Encampment community. During the summer program, they have the opportunity to dialog and network with EFC alums and supporters at the annual Intergenerational Weekend. When they return home from the summer program, Encampers bring their leadership skills and enhanced awareness back to their community organizations, as well as to their school, work, and daily life. Some examples of ways 2014 youth have put their Encampment experience to work are setting up social justice clubs and workshops on bullying and racism in their school communities.
Access to the greater network of EFC alums. Recent Encampers have the support of alums as they put their experiences to work in local projects. They have access to a community of adults who attended Encampments in prior decades with a variety of knowledge, skills, careers, and experience. Year-round engagement opportunities include the Intergenerational Weekend at summer program, regional programs and events, writing and speaking opportunities, phone briefings and networking online. Members of the larger EFC community contribute to our website’s “Community Links Share” by posting links to educational or thought-provoking articles and videos, and information about ways to get involved in social justice issues.
Adult alums and supporters participate in the year-round network. They serve as sources for job referrals, college and graduate opportunities, and political, cultural and movement-aligned opportunities, primarily for recent Encampment participants. Older alums are inspired by the enthusiasm and commitment of recent alums and develop new leadership skills and the ability to strategize across age, gender, race, class, faith, regional and political differences.
Intergenerational Weekend 2014, Chicago: Group discussion on social justice issues related to health, 2014 Encampers and EFC alums.
Intergenerational Weekend. An annual event that takes place at the summer program includes shared programming with the most recent Encampers and opportunities for dialogue with EFC alums from all years. We invite Encampment alums, staff, parents and supporters to join us for a weekend of reunion, discussion and celebration. This is an opportunity to engage in dialog and network with the most recent Encampers and other alums about social justice issues, to learn more about EFC, to participate in a summer workshop, and share an evening of performing arts and celebration.
The EFC’s community workshops are collaborative events that use arts, community building and a critical-thinking approach to inspire action in schools and community organizations. They address issues
in that particular community with youth agency as the common thread. The participating young people identify problems and are encouraged to dig deeper to understand the underlying causes. Using the arts and other modalities, they can develop immediate actions to respond to the issues in either an individual or a collective way. Every workshop asks: How can you be an agent of change right now?
In 2017-18, nearly 700 youth in locales as diverse as the Calhoun School (New York) and the Tiospa Zina Tribal School (South Dakota) participated in these workshops.
“We were able to discuss topics that we normally don’t discuss as a group. Gave me great ideas and solutions for problems at school.” — Wight Foundation Scholar
“The Encampment for Citizenship … is an inspiration for those involved in progressive ideals and helps the younger generation understand the challenges they too will need to face so that the world can always have hope for the future.” — Mirta, Upper School Spanish teacher, Calhoun School