My community placement is with Voices for Earth Justice. VEJ is an interfaith organization, focused on environmental activism. They own property in the Brightmoor neighborhood, where they manage Hope House and Garden. VEJ has been involved in many different projects and campaigns since their inception in the early 2000s. I’m so excited to be working with this non-profit because I really love thinking about the intersection of faith and environmentalism. VEJ believes that faith, no matter what kind, and a connection to nature leads to motivation to preserve and protect the earth. The prefer motivating change through these connections, rather than focusing on what is wrong in the world.
My summer research project for VEJ has to do with the mission of the entire organization, which is in a time of transition. My task is to determine exactly what role Voices for Earth Justice has in the community of Brightmoor. Being a small organization, it is important for us to find a specific niche that we can fill really well. I will be conducting interviews with past and present members of VEJ, as well as speaking with community members. I’m excited for the opportunity to learn about the Brightmoor community and learn how to best fit into their landscape.
My first week went really well. Everyone in the office has been welcoming, and I’ve had a really fun time at the Hope House Garden. It’s nice to be able to work outside twice a week to break up the office time. I’m so excited to continue to learn from my community placement.