Monday, January 25, 2021

The Big Picture and How You Fit In

A suggestion for your Monday evening:

Columbia Community Care Peace and Justice Center Town Hall

From the event page:

Join us Monday, January 25th at 6pm to hear about our plans to open Columbia Community Care Peace & Justice Center! Learn, ask questions, hear testimonials about how community centers save lives, and experience a taste of what we will offer! 

If you can’t make it tomorrow evening, join us on Thursday, January 28th at 6pm for the same presentation! 

Created at the beginning of the pandemic by hcpss teacher Erika Strauss Chavarria, Columbia Community Care has successfully organized an enormous group of local volunteers and donors to provide food and other household necessities to those in financial crisis. Chavarria has been honored for her leadership by several organizations, including the Howard County Human Rights Commission Human Rights Award for 2020 and as a “Pandemic Hero” in the Howard Magazine Best of Howard Readers Poll.

In November she announced that Columbia Community Care would building on its initial success by committing to create the Columbia Community Care Peace and Justice Center. The group has also been circulating an online petition in support of the initiative in order to show a broad base of community interest in the project. 

In the meantime, we are still in need of community support for our vision! Share this petition with10 friends so we get to 10k signatures!! Let’s do this!

The initial mission of Columbia Community Care has been one that Columbia/HoCo has been quick to understand and latch on to. The group has been tremendously good at helping people see that whatever time, funds, or goods they have available are welcome and useful to the larger cause. A brick and mortar community center is a bigger dream with an expanded purpose and I get the feeling that the size of the project may be more difficult for people to comprehend how they can fit in.

That’s why signing up for one of these Town Hall events is such a good way to learn about both the project and the process. I look forward to getting a better sense of the big picture as well as how ordinary community members can be involved.

Columbia Community Care has been addressing the essential needs of our families and young people but that is not enough. There are needs in our community that extend far beyond the needs of just physical survival. If we only focus on basic needs of survival, we have failed our neighbors and ourselves. As a teacher I know the importance of creating safe spaces for mental, emotional well being and healing. We must provide spaces for development of essential skills, in depth learning and critical thinking. All of this is necessary so that our young people and communities not only survive, but thrive and prosper to their fullest potential. - - Erika Strauss Chavarria 

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