SDP 2021-2022 Week 10: Building Relationships

There are times in this process where I look around at all of the brilliant people in the room and pinch myself – I’m really lucky to be a part of this team and this process. Another thing I tend to do while I look around the room is wonder how I managed to miss the reading that told us what in the world we’re doing. Throughout this process, we have thrown around ideas, propositions, surveys, lists, and questions. This week, a lot of questions caught up to us – and throughout the class we addressed them. While the answers are not all clear yet, the path forward seems to be navigable.
We started off the class discussing the formation of the on-campus PLAN chapter. The half of the team working on the institutional side will be using the PLAN chapter as a mechanism for connecting the institution to other institutions and building a resilient foundation and network that can carry the torch even after the conclusion of the practicum.
Then, we discussed the burdens of asking “what can I do to help?” The team has been mulling over our role in the community and the greater movement for some time, and the urge to sit back and have someone else hash out what we could do to help was massively tempting. After all, who are we to come into this space and declare what we will do and how it will help?
Prior to meeting with Greg and Shashawnda, both teams broke off for some introspection and organization. In the community track, we struggled to decide our niche in this ecosystem, but after much discussion we arrived at a plan to engage with, network with, and provide information and resources to community members and small institutions. The institutional track developed a plan around PLAN. Reporting these plans back to Greg and Shashawnda, the community track has confirmed a need to focus on small institutions rather than individuals, and the institutional track has focused efforts toward securing a tonnage commitment from the university.
This week was immensely clarifying for me. I don’t want to pretend I know exactly what I’m doing, but I do feel like what we’re doing is in alignment with the greater movements of the South Baltimore Community Land Trust and the Baltimore Zero Waste Coalition.

1 Like