Kalamazoo College students volunteer at Kalamazoo Public Schools and community sites supporting Newcomer families and kids through community based coursework and CCE student-led civic engagement programs. This Fall, Candace Combs’ course, One in a Billion, has twenty seven students participating in ongoing partnership in classrooms at Lincoln Elementary, Milwood Middle School, Phoenix High School, and Oakwood Community Center. Newcomer families in Kalamazoo come from all over the world and the relationships and supports forged with this partnership help to create a more accessible and inclusive community for all people living here.
Please take a look at this month’s issue of the student-created newsletter for an update on how the year is getting started!
The Center for Civic Engagement invites all members of the Kalamazoo College community to participate in a free tree workshop on Saturday October 21st. The walk is only five minutes from campus at Woodward Elementary School. This workshop has been organized by the City of Kalamazoo and supported by ReLeaf Michigan, and is completely free and open to all knowledge levels. See the workshop flyer below for more details!
We are hiring for swim coaches and lifeguards for Swim for Success!
Swim for Success is a program that provides homework help and low-cost swim lessons to students in Kalamazoo Public Schools, intentionally recruiting KPS students whose families may have traditionally lacked access to swimming instruction.
For both coaches and lifeguards experience with kids is appreciated but not required. Coaches are required to have basic swimming knowledge, and training on coaching swim lessons is provided. Lifeguards are required to have a current lifeguard certification. All participants are required to attend orientation and three reflections per quarter and commit to coaching/life-guarding for the term.
Tutoring sessions are held Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5:30 to 6:30, and swim lessons follow immediately after from 6:30 to 7:30. Both positions are paid $10 per lesson and does not require or affect work study.
On behalf of Swim For Success Civic Engagement Scholars: Rylie Kipfmueller, Lauren Bretzius, and Lillian Kehoe Riley Gabriel, Program Associate Center for Civic Engagement Riley.Gabriel@kzoo.edu or email@example.com
Check out the CCE’s education and learning equity Community Building Internships in Kalamazoo this summer! Applications are open until April 9th, search “CBI” on Handshake for position descriptions and to apply. Contact: Felicia.Ford@kzoo.edu
Your voice and your needs deserve to be heard. It’s your right to vote and participate in decisions on judges, governors, commissioners, congress representatives, and more. If you’re feeling excited about an upcoming ballot proposal or a running candidate or if you’re feeling frustrated by the current state of things and want to see change, voice that through voting. The CCE K Votes program is prepared to support you in your voting journey from deciding where to register to requesting absentee ballots and following up with representatives after elections to hold them accountable for their obligations to our communities.
Drop by the Hicks Game Room today from 2:30-4pm to ask your questions about voting next month. We can help you register in any state, request absentee ballots, change your voting address, check your polling location, find a sample ballot for your district, and more. Students, faculty, and staff are welcomed to participate.
For more information on K Votes or to volunteer on upcoming registration drives and election events, contact Thomas.Lichtenberg19@kzoo.edu
The CCE is excited to share this article from the College Lux Esto magazine from last month. You can read about the over 25 years of community collaboration and neighborhood engagement through Building Blocks; originally founded by Professor Emeritus Kim Cummings as a student-neighborhood endeavor in 1995, Building Blocks has since developed into an independent organization that empowers residents, one block at a time, to enhance the quality of their neighborhood life. Kalamazoo College students have continued to engage with neighborhood communities across the city through courses and summer Community Building Internships.
Human rights are at the core of the social justice work that the Center for Civic Engagement does with Kalamazoo College students and the Kalamazoo community. We strive to support the full humanity of individuals and communities we work with by affirming their multiplicity of identities. Last week’s US Supreme Court ruling to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortions dangerously diminishes the civil and human rights of all people who can become pregnant.
SisterSong defines Reproductive Justice as, “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” The CCE believes that bodily autonomy and the choice to have or not have children are human rights that all people have and deserve protections for. All human rights are interconnected and therefore one cannot be taken away without endangering the status of other rights such as right to healthcare, privacy, education, and more. The recent SCOTUS decision will disproportionately impact people of color, LGBTQIA+ folks, those in rural areas, and low-income communities. The CCE will do all that we can within the law to support our communities as we navigate this recent blow to civil and human rights.
We have a history of advocating for reproductive justice and will prioritize this focus this year. Students can take action through the Students for Reproductive Freedom (SRF) and the K Votes programs. SRF and K Votes are campus-community collaboratives offering educational programming on campus and community engagement opportunities in Kalamazoo. All members of the campus community are welcome to participate with either or both programs by contacting the current program Civic Engagement Scholars. If you are a student looking for other ways to get involved, please contact Riley Gabriel. We are a resource for you, so please don’t hesitate to contact our staff.
Join Center for Civic Engagement’s Students for Reproductive Freedom program for an action-packed rally! Community partners, politicians, and some of your Kalamazoo College peers and professors will speak on reproductive freedom and the crisis everyone is facing regarding the right to abortion and reproductive healthcare. Art and writing activities will also be offered along with resources to make your own poster at the rally. All are welcome!
*Note that the weather is predicting 90 degree temps and full sun, so dress appropriately and bring a full water bottle!
Tuesday, May 31st, 4-8pm; speeches 4:10-6:15pm
Location: Lawn of Kalamazoo College Fine Arts Building, 129 Thompson Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49006
We are still hiring for Civic Engagement Scholars (CES) for the Swim for Success and K Votes programs for 2022-2023! If you are a student passionate about community-based change and civic engagement, we want to hear from you. CESs are student leaders for their peers and with a community partner in Kalamazoo. In Swim for Success, K Students provide swimming lessons and homework tutoring to KPS students and K Votes focuses on spreading election information, registering people to vote, and encouraging political engagement in a variety of ways. If either of these programs sound interesting to you, check out the application on our website and Handshake!https://cce.kzoo.edu/opportunities/slp/