Opportunities for Year-Round Engagement
Year-round programming creates a vibrant EFC community that supports and sustains its members as they work for economic, political, environmental and social justice.
The summer program is the heart of the Encampment. It is a true experience in democracy where young people from a wide variety of backgrounds gather for three weeks in a supportive multicultural Encampment community to explore issues of concern to them and our society.
Throughout the year, we provide support for recent and older alums and the larger EFC community through several strategies.
2020 Virtual InterGen.
Encampers participate with Encampment alums, staff, parents and supporters in the InterGen(erational) program ...
— a 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.
“Thank you, organizers — as a parent, I am so glad about the work the Encampment does with the young people and the intergenerational knowledge and skills-sharing that occurs.” – Demetria Shabazz, parent of 2020 Encamper
“People in my [InterGen] breakout group encouraged me to make my action plan work – to go in ready to make a change. It’s inspiring and helpful that people believe that I can make this plan work and make a difference in my community.” – Nicholas, 2020 Encamper
“I’m inspired by the social construct of authentic learning. As an educator, this is the way we need to allow youth to learn. Find their passion, what is important in their community, learning and connecting to see various perspectives and creating an action plan to improve their communities …” — Veronica Rauschenberger, EFC organizational partner and supporter
Follow-up Six-Month Action Planning Program
Six month calendar slide.
As part of the EFC’s ongoing vision to provide more follow-up support for the Encampers’ action plans, the young people now have 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 has an orientation in June, with the summer intensive following in July. They will meet again in August to learn the basics of the follow-up program and for reorientation on the structure, content and scheduling meetings.
September through November, the whole group meets with the program director to focus on the EFC’s 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 worked 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.
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
Youth Advisory Council
The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is composed of recent alums to support their continuing leadership development and create a leadership pipeline for the organization.
“The highlight has been initiating the Community Call-In, creating a space for 20 recent alums (2013–2020) to re-engage with the EFC. We also started a series of workshops on voting rights for Pace University’s Black Student Union that have generated a lot of energy for getting out the vote.” — Marquise Steward, YAC Intern/Advisor
Pesticide-Free Soil Project
PFSP project featured at the 2021 Santa Barbara Virtual Earth Day.
The Pesticide-Free Soil Project Internship is part of our Ventura County Environmental Justice Learning and Action Project (EJLAP).
It offers next-step education, leadership development and community organizing experiences for recent local EFC alums. This program provides stipends for young people who are often working 2 or 3 jobs in addition to attending high school or college.
In 2019, the Ventura County Pesticide-Free Soil Project (PFSP) evolved from a collaboration with EFC alums, local schools and community-based organizations shining a light on the issue of pesticide-use at school sites and its impact on people in the surrounding neighborhoods. Under the leadership of Project Director Florencia Ramirez and Intern Director Juna Rosales Muller, we are focusing on building leadership among youth in Ventura County, including some from farmworker families, to address pesticide use and other issues.
A core of local EFC alums plus 2020 Encampers are engaged in more training and organizing experience in conjunction with our organizational partners: Pesticide Action Network (PAN), Californians for Pesticide Reform, the Abundant Table, El Rio School District, Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP), the Public Health Institute, and the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE).
Current projects include a social media project documenting what they are learning; a 15-minute video giving an overview of the PFSP project that featured at the 2021 Santa Barbara Virtual Earth Day; and The Other Strawberry Festival: Stories of People, Land and Resistance, a virtual gathering about food system justice, held on Sunday, May 23, 2021 and hosted by the Pesticide-Free Soil Project and the MICOP Tequio Youth Group. This event includes an Art and Poetry Contest for young people 22 and under.
Social Justice in Action
SJIA Zoom Series
The Social Justice in Action Zoom Series engages alums and supporters of all ages in learning and discussion about current social justice issues and will provide more opportunities for networking.
The first in the series, First Nations: Rising Voices focused on the effects of COVID-19 on First Nations communities. The second is PFSP’s upcoming The Other Strawberry Festival on May 23. Sign up here.
EFC Community Workshops
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.
In 2020, interns for the Youth Advisory Council facilitated with EFC’s education director 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
Community Workshop at Calhoun School.
Both the Encampment program and working at the farm have been such unique experiences.
Not only have these programs inspired me to be better for my community, but they have shown me ways that I can. Through Zoom and hands-on learning, they give me tools that I didn’t realize I needed, to make an impact larger than myself.