Is Community Organizing a Calling? By Corrinn Cobb

Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce.  Take wives and have sons and daughtesr, take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters, multiply there, and do not decrease.  But seek the peace of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its peace you will find your peace. (Jeremiah 29:4-7). In examining the Israelite’s exile to Babylon, Robert Linthicum (2003) writes that although God was punishing Israel, there were also a set of conditions that they were expected to live by.  The Israelites were commanded to seek the...

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Chicago, the Two-Faced City by Corrinn Cobb

Chicago’s recent endeavor, the Chicago Riverwalk Construction, appears to be a hot topic for many urbanists and city planners as of late.  In a recent article in New Geography, Robert Weber critiques not the construction or planning of the project itself, but rather the rational behind it. Weber argues that within less than a decade, Chicago has become a “two-faced,” self-contradicting city:  On one hand Chicago is metropolitan mecca, a hub of tech innovation, Fortune 500s and ample real estate.  In the other, the numbers and media coverage show Chicago as the poster child of almost every major urban social ill: political corruption, poor schools, segregation, crime and violence, etc. The Chicago Riverwalk Construction project represents the city’s...

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MA in Urban Studies Students: Art-making in Ecuadorian and Kenyan Communities

MA in Urban Studies Students: Art-making in Ecuadorian and Kenyan Communities

Last week, five students returned from art-making in two international communities.  Four of the five students spent their time in Bungoma, Kenya, and the other student spent her time in Quito, Ecuador.  Both groups went with the goal of using art to assess creativity in the community’s children and consider the efforts of local community groups and institutions as well as provide arts-based programming.  While short-term, both trips provided transformational experiences for the students, as they were introduced to a new context, and it is their hope that the communities were provided necessary tools and knowledge to further develop creativity in the children and integrate the arts in educational programming. Learn more about the team in Kenya by visiting...

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Youth Programs Provide a Turning Point for Youth

Can youth programs provide a turning point for young people?  While the argument has often been posed that afterschool programs and extracurricular provide positive avenues for youth to “avoid trouble,” it is important to note their impact upon children that have experience trauma, violence, or bullying.  Consider Nixlot Dameus who moved to the Olney section of Philadelphia from Port-De-Prince, Haiti in 2007.  When Dameus arrived, he quickly became the victim of bullying but remained silent.  Many children victim to trauma or violence will cope through silence, which can lead to negative emotional and behavioral manifestations.   For Dameus, “an ’Art and Craft of Poetry’ class at Delaware Valley Charter High School (DVCHS) [inspired] him to...

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MA in Urban Studies Alumni News!

Several of our Alumni had exciting news to share this month! Victor Gimenez is a graduate from the MA in Urban Studies with a concentration in Youth Development, class of 2009.  He has been appointed to serve as pastor at Union Memorial United Methodist Church in Darby, PA. Aleea Slappy is a graduate from the MA in Urban Studies with a concentration in Community Development, class of 2009.  She has served over five years with The Enterprise Center, most recently as the Director of Training and Education, but she has recently accepted a position at the DC Women’s Business Center. Rashana Miller is a graduate from the MA in Urban Studies with a concentration in Youth Development, class of 2013.  Rashana has been promoted from the position of Assistant...

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Why the MA in Urban Studies, Community Arts concentration?

Hannah Poon shares about her experience in the MA in Urban Studies with a concentration in Community Arts.  Are you ready to enter the realm of community art making?  Learn more and start an application at www.eastern.edu/urbanstudies.

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