Back at it again, i returned to Sampson park for another after such a long time away. This time it was called Sampson Park OR NAH and had a somewhat new-ish flock of little peoples coming around to engage with the activities. However, other than that the park itself looked essentially how i remembered it which is both comforting and disheartening at the same time because it would be wonderful if the folks of the Desire area had a better park area to interact with each other in.
The activities that we chose were a good time especially the shirts which flew off the table into hands as if they had been given life themselves. This and other things including the Mardi Gras Indian parade made the day a swirl of bodies and colors in our section of the park-- lovely since the weather was doing its sometimes sunny, but mostly cloudy routine. As for my activity, well i would like to say that i felt like it was okay. However, in all honesty i wish i would have been more creative in my approach and the activities chosen for the youth to engage in. I found myself getting caught up in the examples and only later on finding more energetic options such as running to the other side of the park and back.
It is certainly a truth to be told that even after having a good bit of experiences being in front of people and in a variety of ways interacting with people from all over the age spectrum that getting in front of young folk is difficult. Perhaps it’s a greater sense of awareness that you are having an impact on their minds or maybe it’s just general anxieties that could pop up anywhere. Whatever it is I still haven’t figured it out yet though i think it would be greatly beneficial if i could find that solution sooner rather than later.
As it currently stands I am ever more determined to make a better activity and continue this learning process to becoming a stronger and flexible organizer in the greater New Orleans area, a city that someday soon i hope to make my home in more ways than just being a student living on campus.
Breial M. Kennedy
To whom it may inspire,
Since my first semester with AFSC, spring 2013, I’ve gone through a number of workshops and trainings. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to both host and participate in life changing events. I’ve also had the privilege of working with a diverse group of level headed people trying to reach a common goal, nonviolence. Because of AFSC, I’ve learned a lot of things about myself and my community.
Recently, I participated in an “Undoing Racism” workshop at Tulane University and it really put the spotlight on some of the most challenging issues we face in our communities daily: racism, discrimination, and violence. Throughout this internship I am constantly reminded of the importance of having an education, a plan, and a support system. As an intern, I’ve learned that it is my civic duty to inform my community of their rights as human beings and to also let them know that they have friends and support in us, AFSC.
I strongly encourage anyone who is interested in peace- building and conflict resolution to contact our organization and partner with us in making necessary adjustments in New Orleans and surrounding areas. It is imperative that we break cycles of violence in our communities starting with our youth. The youth are our future and it is up to us to mold what our societies of tomorrow will look like.