SDP 2021-2022 Week 11: Building Relationships

November 10, 2021

This past class, we spent the first half of class enjoying the beautiful weather outside. Special shoutout to Aimee for her suggestion. Technical difficulties aside, I think we worked through different ways to ensure we were in the same space (those who attended in person and those who attended virtually).

We spent most of our class period with our individual groups, but we started off the class by going around the class and each sharing updates on individual progress, struggles, and needs. I felt proud of us as I listened to everyone share. It has been incredible to see all that we have accomplished thus far and how well we have been navigating through this new space individually and as a collective. Sure, there is much that needs to be done and we are now catching our bearings, but I just wanted to take a second and emphasize how beautiful this group gets along, works together, and remains flexible as we figure out this process.

The community side discussed how intricate the community track was and how many different avenues and paths there are. This week, however, was a big win for us in terms of progress because I believe we had a cleared direction in the path we needed to take and agreed upon our priorities. For us to be able to address businesses, housing, and individual relationships, we further split up into different teams so we could focus our attention and efforts most efficiently. After speaking with Greg and Shashawnda, it was clear that Charles Village should be one of the neighborhoods we first reach out to, so as individual teams we will be targeting Charles Village first. We will also be targeting Hampden as it also borders the Hopkins campus – the neighborhoods selected will of course grow throughout this process. Further, there were discussions on writing two op-eds where one will focus on a public health lens and the other would focus on collaborations with Hopkins.

The institutional side shared exciting events for the future such as weigh your waste where they’ll head to the dining halls in Peabody since there is no composting done on that campus to raise awareness on how much waste is produced. They also shared their plans of increasing our platform by using social media as a tool. Plans of developing student organization pledges where individuals who are part of an organization show support for a zero waste Baltimore and composting initiatives were also shared. I thought this was clever in that this process has shown how political it is and this way, individuals can express their support and hopefully those responsible for where Hopkins waste goes will see how important it is to change current waste practices.

This work has been and continues to be exciting and I feel so lucky to be a part of the group working towards a zero waste Baltimore. Every Wednesday, I am constantly inspired and thankful to be in this space.

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