Check out all the great work that residents Alisha Chen, Sarah Dittmore, Charline Jao, Kyle Hughes, Emily Liu, Emma Olson, Ephraim Owairu, Mish Steuber, and Debbie Walters did with RA/Site Leader Nichole Roxas over Spring Break!
Read the incredible account of their trip below and check out this video to get a glimpse of all the great work (and fun) from their trip!
Two weeks ago during spring break they drove down to Selma, Alabama, to work with the non-profit the Freedom Foundation’s Random Acts of Theater Company (RATCO) students. The Freedom Foundation is a non-profit organization that utilizes theater and the arts as a means for Selma youth to not just engage and express their experiences with discrimination, prejudice, and racism, but to transform them into stories of hope, empowerment, and compulsions for positive social change. The stories are changing from hopeless to hopeful, and so is our reality. RATCO students’ stand for what is right inspired Alisha, Sarah, Charline, Kyle, Emily, Emma, Ephraim, Mish, and Debbie to heed that same call of action. Together with RATCO ambassadors and Freedom Foundation volunteers, they impacted and were impacted by: their tutoring at the Children’s Development Center and the McRae-Gaines Learning Center; construction on the Tepper’s Building, the future RATCO theater dance studio; and learning about Civil Rights history, from taking a historical tour of Selma to travelling to Montgomery to visit Martin Luther King Jr.’s house, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Civil Rights Memorial, and the Rosa Parks Museum.
These residents really wrestled with the reality of our ongoing struggle to end segregation and racism. Throughout the year, they have met weekly and continue to do so, discussing issues of race, education, poverty, and community youth development not only in Selma, Alabama, but in New York City, as well as in the world. This, coupled with the Freedom Foundation’s Kingian nonviolence training, has given them a lens, a means, and a passion to stand with RATCO and the Freedom Foundation as they too commit to empowering their communities and raising awareness through ongoing projects including the video/slideshow below as well as a future documentary, encouraging others to join in the struggle; a compilation of educational and extracurricular resources relevant to RATCO’s interests; and a nurturing of the bonds they formed with each other and with RATCO.
“They have grown so much since that first meeting in October. This past spring break, they “found love in a hopeless place,” and because of that, they feel compelled to take that love and share it with the world. I couldn’t be prouder and because of them, I can genuinely combat my cynicism and apathy, with the knowledge that they stand with me, and together, I sincerely believe that we can change the world for the better.”
–Nichole Roxas, NYUCORPS RA 2012-2013