Year-round programming creates a vibrant EFC 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. Due to COVID-19, the focus is on virtual programming this year with some socially distant, in-person training in the Pesticide-Free Soil Project.
In 2020, Encampers participated with Encampment alums, staff, parents and supporters in the InterGen(erational) program — a virtual reunion, discussion and celebration of what the Encampers learned during the summer intensive. This annual event is also an opportunity for recent Encampers to network with other alums as they put their experiences to work in local projects. The event gives them access to a community of adults with a variety of knowledge, skills, careers and experience who attended Encampments in past decades.
2019 InterGen – Encamper presentation.
2020 Virtual InterGen.
NEW IN 2020 – Follow-up 6-Month Action Planning Program
As part of the EFC’s ongoing vision to provide more follow-up support for the Encampers’ action plans, the young people had an option to extend their EFC experience through November. This takes the form of large-group Zoom meetings, smaller-group meetings with EFC Fellows and individual support for specific challenges in implementing their action plans.
While the program emphasizes taking action, there is no expectation that action plans will be complete by November — only that they will be underway.
The group had an orientation in June, with the summer intensive following in July. The whole group met in August to learn the basics of the follow-up program and for reorientation on the structure, content and scheduling meetings.
Each month, the whole group meets with program director Matt Robinson to focus on the EFC philosophy, elements of the action plan process, specific strategies for communication and practice to get things done. They will share planning and action resources such as “thinking maps,” resource building and backward planning.
In addition, we will introduce our organizational partners, such as Peace First and The Changemaker Project, that assist with the implementation of young people’s projects, including funding opportunities.
An example of a question from an Encamper wanting to suggest an alternative curriculum for her school that honors culture, diversity and inclusion is “Where do I find alternative textbooks that meet those criteria?” The group helped this Encamper brainstorm where she might find the resources to answer this question.
2020 Encampers are working on projects addressing racism in primarily White institutions, sustainability through starting a recycling program at their school, injecting material about Native Americans in the high school curriculum, providing school materials for elementary school students and more. Young people in previous years have started social justice clubs, advocated for Dreamer legislation, helped to organize Black Lives Matter demonstrations and participated in Get-Out-the-Vote campaigns.
“I am excited to continue to assist the Encampers in making significant connections and helping them use questioning as a tool. I learned a lot more about what it means to be in a teaching role. While the intensive was intense, it was a riveting experience, and I am excited about the possibilities that the next few months hold.” — Rachel Godfrey, 2020 Fellow
2020 Encampers on the follow-up action planning program
“I’m continuing in the follow-up program because I always feel motivated to do the work when I’m around these folks. They truly bring out the best in me, and their support means everything.” — Ijeamaka
“I’m doing the follow-up program because support is a vital part of any action plan. My advising fellow, Rachel, has been a very helpful part of my action plan. I’m looking forward to coming up with some sustainability protocols at my school. We need to help sustain the planet for future generations!” — Nicholas
“I am continuing the program because I want to see a change in my local community. I want to give others resources in school that they haven’t had. I hope to put smiles on the kids’ faces by providing them with school supplies.” — Jane
"Continuing with Encampment’s follow-up program will provide me with much-needed support and resources to fulfill my Community Action Plan. This summer’s community mapping project taught me how to analyze my community’s many assets and it opened my eyes to the real effects of gentrification on my neighborhood … the Encampment taught me that I have the ability to make a change. My voice is powerful and has the potential to bring people together, to challenge unscrupulous landlords, who care little for the well-being of the community. Overall, my passion is supported by the Encampment and its follow-up program." — Carter
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 underlying causes. Using the arts and other modalities, they can develop immediate actions to respond to issues in either an individual or a collective way. Every workshop asks: How can you be an agent of change right now?
In 2020, interns for the Youth Advisory Council will be facilitating with EFC’s education director in a workshop focused on voting for the PACE University Black Student Union. In previous years, nearly 700 youth in locales as diverse as the Calhoun School (New York) and Tiospa Zina Tribal School (South Dakota) participated in workshops focusing on issues of concern to that student body or organization.
“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 the world can always have hope for the future.” — Mirta, Upper School Spanish teacher, Calhoun School
Our Year-round Pesticide-Free Soil Project Responds to COVID-19
Under the leadership of Florencia Ramirez, our Environmental Justice Learning and Action Project (EJLAP) director, the Pesticide-Free Soil Project (PFSP) continued during the spring and summer, responding particularly to COVID-19 and working with projects and initiatives addressing food insecurity, pesticides, farmworker health and policy work on the use of pesticides in Ventura County and throughout the state of California. For instance, two EFC alumnae have been volunteering with Adam Vega of Californians for Pesticide Reform, and he includes them in local trainings and conferences aimed at pesticide reduction and working for farmworker health. They have also taken part in developing and implementing a survey in the form of informal focus groups with farmworkers conducted by Achieving Resilient Communities (ARC) – Ventura County, a project of the Public Health Institute.
This fall, with new PFSP Internship director Juna Rosales Muller facilitating the intern training, the interns will:
- Train in regenerative agriculture and organic farming at the Abundant Table. Specifics include carrying out farm-based activities, such as working with plants, produce, tools, soil, seeds and irrigation; participating in training sessions onsite, such as lectures, demonstrations and workshops; and interacting with Abundant Table members and partner organizations, such as the Rodale Institute (socially distant, outdoors, masks on).
- Start a sustainable garden at Rio Real Elementary School, in a community with many farmworker families, as part of a school district-led process.
- As part of the above projects, photograph, document and interview people for use in developing and executing a ONE HEALTH social media environmental justice campaign with the two farms as the setting and using that material as a springboard to discuss concepts such as climate change, carbon sequestration, soil health, human health, farmworker health, pesticide use and water scarcity, as well as to illuminate a path forward.
- Develop curriculum- and action-based activities using the videos from the pumpkin patch and larger farm to bring the content into virtual classrooms.
- Collaborate with educators through El Rio School District and Upstream Schools to bring this content to classroom settings.
- Organize young people at their respective schools and/or community organizations.
"The Pesticide-Free Soil Project interns are an inspired, committed and powerful group of young people who are making change in their own communities while learning about the connections between human health, ecology and justice. As we face the real-time impacts of climate crisis in California, they are leading the way in being part of timely and hopeful solutions that center communities on the frontlines."— Juna Rosales Muller