Earlier this month, AYM was able to host a group of confirmands from FPC Charlotte for a Mission Immersion Weekend. During their weekend with us, the group split into three smaller groups to go out to serve in the community for a few hours Saturday morning. One of these 8th graders, Reid Bond, served at the Veteran’s Restoration Quarters (VRQ) where he made a connection with one of the veterans over a shared task, military connections, and UNC basketball.
This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Hillyer Memorial Christian Church partnered with 3 other DOC churches for a youth justice lock-in. This year’s theme was “Kickstart Justice.” Catherine Campbell, Associate Minister at Hillyer, said, “We took a look at what it was like to be a social entrepreneur- to take your passions, your gifts, your calling and turn it into a non-profit.” YMCo got to talk with two Hillyer youth, siblings Ben and Marie Rashleigh, about how this lock-in gave them the opportunity to bring YMCo’s theme, “Broken Boundaries” back to their home context.
This week on the blog we wanted to highlight one of the agencies we partner with who are doing amazing things in the community. Asheville Poverty Initiative (API) was started about a year ago by Rev. Shannon Spencer, a local pastor who saw a need in the community. We sat down with API’S intern, Lisa Freeman, and she told us what API is all about, what they do on a day-to-day basis, and how she has seen boundaries being broken down through the work they are doing.
Meet Bella: a perfomance poet and student at Odyssey Community School. Like Martha and Liam from previous posts, Bella participated in SoulSpeak Asheville’s social justice poetry slam earlier this year, and we were pretty impressed with her piece (read it here, and watch her performance of it here).
In “Behind the Mirror,” Bella presents us with the idea that we have built our whole world around the perceptions of just one sense: sight. She says that humans caught one glimpse of themselves in the reflection in a puddle, and distorted this gift into something used to judge others. “We created monsters of ourselves through a puddle.” She says that where we went wrong was when we “forgot how to dive deeper.” We have taken this gift, given to us to see the beauty of our surroundings, and used it to categorize people. Bella says, “The organism of sight is not the problem. It’s the way that we have taken this gift and turned it into a way of discriminating against people about something they have no choice in. Yes, it is human nature to judge, and no, that does not make it okay.”