Gigi Reports back from TBI
11 May 2009
To whom it may concern:
On behalf of Carey Jenkins as well as the experience of my CTMs’ [college team members] at the Tunnel Builder Institute I write this letter. I am the founding executive director of Power Network an educational and service based nonprofit focused on leadership development through civic engagement and policy study with students of color on college campuses in the state of Ohio. Power Network’s participating population are novice to organizing and this is one of the reasons I felt it pertinent for them to attend TBI.
Tunnel Builder Institute offered the opportunity to receive peer critique as well as practice the work they have been doing on campus and locally. One of the highlights was the spoken word artist who demonstrated the coupling of pop culture (hip hop) and organizing work. This inspired the CTMs to utilize their talents as well as demonstrated another means to create a message which other students can understand. Additionally, the interaction and exposure of working with other young leaders and community activists gave them a better understanding of what impact local work can have on a regional and national level.
Overall, the work and experienced offered by the Tunnel Builder Institute in my opinion is a great starting ground for community members, activists and young leaders who are in the beginning stages of developing their ideology of what justice means for them as well as gaining an understanding of the various vehicles through which they can advocate. As long as TBI exists I will continue to have my students participate as well as refer and recommend community members looking to advance their organizing skill set to become with TBI. This way they receive hands on training and a definite understanding of what it means to be involved in grassroots organizing.
Keep Movin’ the Movement!
Ms. Gigi Traore