CCNY Students Bring a New Community Garden to Harlem

Two and a half years after receiving seed funding from the Colin Powell Center, the Community Agricultural Network is running a thriving urban garden in Hamilton Heights.

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A child and a CCNY student enjoy the community garden in Hamilton Heights. Photo: City Agricultural Network

The City Agriculture Network (CAN) formed in the winter of 2010, funded by a Community Engagement Fellowship awarded to Kaizhong (Johnny) Huang by the Colin Powell Center. The goal of CAN, which received continued funding from the Center for 2010-2011, was to create a community garden from scratch in Hamilton Heights, and promote understanding and knowledge of the processes by which food can be created, distributed and consumed in a sustainable and equitable manner.

Two and a half years into the project, CAN is producing food, promoting healthy eating, and reducing the local carbon footprint. The below update on the group’s activity is by Elizabeth Kelman, a CCNY student who is now managing the network. Continue reading “CCNY Students Bring a New Community Garden to Harlem”

To Improve Health in Harlem, a Fellow Joins the Community

Forget “veni, vidi, vici.” A Colin Powell Center Partners for Change fellow explains that before you can help change a community, you must become part of it first.

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Rebecca Moore at a health fair attended by the Partners for Change health care fellows. Photo: Sophie Gray

Before having the opportunity to be a Colin Powell Partners for Change health fellow I had never truly recognized the health crisis facing the Harlem community. I knew it existed, but before I was given a chance to meet the community and discuss the daily lives and activities of people past whom I have walked on the streets for the three years I have lived in Harlem, I did not know how complex and deep rooted these issues were.

Continue reading “To Improve Health in Harlem, a Fellow Joins the Community”

Jill Iscol to Lead Discussion at Fellowship End-of-Year Ceremony

Jill Iscol, Diahann Billings-Burford and Jimmie Briggs will speak at the Powell Fellowship end-of-year celebration on May 8.

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Jill Iscol, author of Hearts on Fire, will speak at the Center on May 8. Photo: Lisa Weinert

On May 8, the Colin Powell Center will send another generation of young leaders into the world. The Colin Powell Fellowship closing celebration marks the end of a journey for City College students who have spent two years (one year for graduate students) working with community partners and learning how to apply their academic interests through public policy and public service to solve the challenges facing society.

The keynote event of the evening will be a panel discussion featuring Jill Iscol, author of Hearts on Fire; Diahann Billings-Burford, chief service officer of NYC Service; and Jimmie Briggs, executive director of the nonprofit Man Up. The invited speakers are exemplary leaders of the sort the Center aims to form: worldly, engaged and dedicated to helping others. Continue reading “Jill Iscol to Lead Discussion at Fellowship End-of-Year Ceremony”

Students and the Homeless Share a Classroom to Advocate for Change

CCNY Professor John Krinski led a course on affordable housing policy attended by both students and local homeless men and women.

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John Krinsky, left, during his course with Picture the Homeless. Image: John Krinsky

The group in Professor John Krinsky’s class was an unusual one for a City College course. At least, half of it was. Eight of the 16 were College students, the other eight were members of Picture the Homeless, a grassroots organization made up of homeless men and women committed to systemic change.

Everyone listened together when one student, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, spoke about seeing entire towns built by the American military in a matter of weeks. “‘We can do this,’ he said,” recalled Krinsky.

Continue reading “Students and the Homeless Share a Classroom to Advocate for Change”