Our second day at Growing Power involved moving a truckload (literally) of kale and having a rainy day in the greenhouses. Shoveling produce in thirty four degree weather reminded us that even when weather is bad, work still needs to get done. The volunteers at Growing Power have not only resilience but a sense of connection with each other. This reminded us of how much food brings people together no matter their walks of life.
Will Allen acts as an inspirational figure. He provides a role model for many young African American men and women in the ways he inspires people to work their hardest no matter the adversity they're thrown into.
We volunteered at St. Ben's this evening by participating in their Community Meal and sitting and speaking with members of the homeless/low income population of Milwaukee. This experience was eye opening for a majority of our catalyst group. It pushed us out of our comfort zone by allowing us the opportunity to hear the stories of people who experience poverty and hardships. This made us realize the privileges we take for granted in this life. This experience forced us to go beyond the stereotypes we are socialized to have about the homeless.We engaged in conversations that shifted our perspectives and helped us see the reality of this community and pushed us to empathize with those who we would not usually connect with or go out of our way to have a conversation with.
Overall, today has been a highly emotional day and for some, transformative. It reminded us why we are on this trip to begin with and understand the roots of social change.
You'd be surprised by the difference one conversation can make.
-Azar and Amanda