Organization: Sweet Water Foundation, Chicago, IL
Sponsor: Doebele Community Service Fellowship
“Carpentry and Farming
The skills learned by young male adults employed by Sweet Water Foundation go beyond the actions of farming and carpentry. One thing kept coming up this week: the fact that in the process of doing farming and carpentry, employees are actually learning about ecology, land use, management skills, landscape design, communication skills, equity and finance management.
Even though it is not explicit, Sweet Water Foundation is establishing a social and economic foundation for young African American men that otherwise would have been denied a job by the social obstacles created by power structures in these communities.
To see apprentices, grow, harvest, and sell their food is an act of social activism. To see them build and take ownership over the furniture they created that could potentially be sold for profit is a testament to the importance of creating opportunity where there is none.”