Reflecting on Or Tzedek’s Advanced Activism 2013

by Rachel Aaronson
Or Tzedek Intern

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As we look towards the beginning of our July session, we want to share a few of the many highlights from our first Or Tzedek session, Advanced Activism.

A key component of the Advanced Activism experience is the internship program. In this setting, the teens are able to build upon what they gained in their previous Or Tzedek experiences, learning first hand the kind of work and dedication that goes into running an organization committed to creating change (there was an abundance of #passionforaction).

Each group of interns contributed in vital ways to their organization’s campaigns, and in turn were able to learn more about the issues our communities face. Here is a snapshot of what each group accomplished over their four day internships:

At Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI), our interns created a video for the immigration justice coalition, using their technological talents to tell the story of ICDI. They interviewed key members of the organization to create a powerful video that will be placed on the ICDI website to help spread their message. Furthermore, the interns continued to work on this project past the end of the session, coming in on their own time (and initiative) to showcase the work that ICDI does.

Meanwhile, the interns at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) could not have chosen a more exciting or important time to work for immigrant rights in Chicago. The focus of their internship was advocating for immigration reform: the teens participated in a phone bank, created a video, and attended a rally in front of the Chicago Office of the Republican Party to support Immigration Reform.

It was an invigorating experience, especially when, mid-rally, the rally attendees were informed that the senate had voted in favor of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Finally, the interns at Growing Home learned how agriculture and community gardens can play a key role in community development. These gardens not only provide delicious, healthy food to the neighborhood, but also create local jobs and vocational training.

These interns helped harvest many of Growing Home’s organic vegetables and engaged the community in a local food stand where they broke Growing Home sales records and sold more food than ever before!

The Advanced Activism participants were able to create significant change in just a short period of time and we look forward to all of the wonderful initiatives they will lead in the future.

We’d like to thank our community partners for giving us these wonderful opportunities, and our teens for coming in each day with incredible amounts of enthusiasm and motivation!

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