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Earth Month 2022!!

Come rekindle community, self-heal, and reconnect with the Earth through celebrations during Earth Month. These Environmental Action Committee-supported events will allow you further connection to green spaces on campus, engagement with educational experiences by all forms of teachers, exploration of inclusive career paths, and the opportunity to build solidarity with social justice work bonded by intersectionality. Together in community, learn from Indigenous cultures, be rewarded with rest and find its productivity, learn city biking techniques, have a ball with slow fashion, eat local, and then finish the month with a community bonfire into the sunset.

Mii omaa akiing endaayang – The Earth is our Home

For more information: Event details, descriptions, registration links, and virtual Zoom links can be found on this documentFollow @sustainable_augsburgu on Instagram for updates.

Make a contribution! During April’s Earth Month, the ShareShop is accepting donations of gently-used items! These items will be redistributed back to students in the fall or donated to the Sisterhood Boutique. As you move out of your residence hall or do some spring cleaning, drop off your donations with a student leader at Science Hall 8 or place them in a green cart in your residence hall. Checkout the ShareShop website for accepted items and expanded hours.

Support & Accessibility for All Earth Month Events

We want everyone to feel welcome and able to fully participate in all Earth Month festivities. If you are in need of any disability-related accommodations to fully participate in these events, please contact University Events at events@augsburg.edu or 612-330-1104. Remember to have the name, date, and time of the event(s) with you when contacting their office. Please allow for sufficient time to arrange the accommodation(s).

All virtual events will be hosted over the Zoom platform. For the Zoom links, meeting ids, and passwords for virtual events, please refer to the event description on this document. If you are affiliated with Augsburg University, please review these Zoom Articles to ensure that you are able to connect. If you are not affiliated with Augsburg University, you are welcome to participate in all of these events. For Zoom tech support, please refer to the Zoom website’s Resources tab.

If for any reason you are having trouble attending an event, please email the specific event’s contact and/or Augsburg University’s Sustainability Officer, Monica McDaniel at mcdaniem@augsburg.edu. We hope you enjoy Earth Month!!

Meet the ESC Team!

This academic year our amazing team of Environmental Stewardship Coordinators have been hard at work on a dynamic set of projects that are making immediate and long-term impacts on how our university and neighborhood responds, collaborates, and leads amidst our intersecting challenges of an ongoing pandemic, systemic social injustices, economic disparity, and climate crisis.

ESC Team at the Garden
ESC Team: Gigi, Malachi, Mercy, Monica, Grace, Elan, Alexa, Annabella, Elijah (Not pictured: Nyasa, Alyssa, Reggie, Zoe)

The team of 12 Environmental Stewardship Coordinators are students of differing years at Augsburg and with majors in different departments. Alexa, Alyssa, Annabella, Elan, Elijah, Gigi, Grace, Malachi, Mercy, Nyasa, Reggie, and Zoe all come to our shared work through their identities, expertises, and experiences that shape how we as a team want to make change and impact around issues of environmental sustainability. Our team identifies issues and projects on which we want to work through the lens of the Wellness Model for Sustainability (thank you Bemidji State). The work of our small project groups align with the goals set forth by the Environmental Stewardship Committee of the University Council: Culture & Ownership, Facilities & Operations, Scholarship & Curriculum, and Climate Action.

Wellness Model for Sustainability: Environmental systems act as nest, holding economic, social, and individual wellness systems. If in balance, that's sustainability.
Wellness Model for Sustainability

Our work in 8 project areas, yes 8, is vast, dynamic, and a whole lot of fun! Scroll down for some brief overviews and links to more information.

  • The Share Shop team is addressing issues on fast fashion and student access to free clothes & dorm items. Stop by Science 8b or our Pop-Up Collaboration with Campus Kitchen in the Strommen Center!

    New Share Shop Opening Date January 24th Mon & Wed 9am-5pm Tuesday from 11:30am-5pm Due to increase of Covid cases, we will be implementing new regulations. Updates on this will be coming soon.
    Share Shop Hours
  • Augsburg Local and its Salad Project are advancing institutional goals around local purchasing from BIPOC and women/femme/trans/queer vendors, farmers, and business owners. We’ll be rolling out the next round of student-designed, locally-sourced creations this semester. The Fall Harvest Salad was a HIT!
Augsburg Local's Fall Harvest Salad at The Commons
Fall Harvest Salad
  • The Community Garden team is excited for warmer weather and to get back in the soil! Last year’s student plot produced an abundance of tomatoes and peppers, but I’m most excited for the raspberries, which should be in their second-year glory this coming season. This spring we’ll have ways for the broader Augsburg community to volunteer with the team, join the waiting list for a plot of one’s own to steward, and what we’ll be growing in the student/communal plots this season.

    Harvest from the garden student plots!
    Harvest from the garden student plots!
  • Sustainability Operations is our newest project team and they have identified the need to improve waste sorting and energy use on campus so that our Augsburg community can do its part in the mitigation of climate change. Information has been rolling out on our Instagram channel as well as on digital screens around campus; events coming soon in partnership with the Environmental Action Committee!
What's Compostable! Food scraps, BPI food service items, and some household items
What’s Compostable!
  • ESC's IGThis year our Communications team launched our Instagram channel @sustainable_augsburgu and has been stewarding its content to keep all informed about our work and important happenings around issues of sustainability both on and off campus. Be sure to follow, like, and share!

 

  • The Climate Action Team has been engaging students, staff, and faculty to build support and actions towards Augsburg’s Climate Commitment and Augsburg Day Student Government’s 2030 Carbon Neutrality and Solar and Carbon Neutrality Resolutions. The results of this organizing work has led to creative collaborations with courses in Environmental Studies and Art & Design as well as partnerships with facilities and ADSG’s Environmental Action Committee to implement solid actions towards our collective goals: Permeable walkways, Native perennial plantings, additions of water-bottle filling stations, Community Garden visioning, and the exploration of on-campus solar.

Love Local Water

  • A few students are also working on Research exploring avenues and areas for new work as well as ways for us to engage in broader conversations around climate justice through our Organizing Cohort in partnership with LEAD Fellows and ISAIAH.

Over the course of this spring semester, stay tuned here to the Sabo Center blog for in-depth highlights of the work on these projects. Our Instagram channel is also currently featuring 2 ESC members a week, so follow us to find out more about the team, our work, and the latest happenings! If you have ideas of actions our team could take and/or want to get involved in the work, please email environmentalstewardship@augsburg.edu.

Augsburg Local Salad Team presents their Fall Harvest Salad!

 

Our seasonal salad: a quinoa base with kale, spinach, apples, sweet potatoes, and fried parsnips.
Fall Harvest Salad

The Augsburg Local Salad Team and Dining Services are excited to share delicious student-designed, locally-sourced salads with the Augsburg community!

Salads will be available at The Commons and Kafeega November 9th, 16th, and 17th + during Late Night Breakfast and at Kafeega only on November 13th 12-1pm (+ more dates to come).

 

 

Tenzin Rabga chopping sweet potatoes during an R&D session in the Food Lab
Tenzin Rabga (’23)

The Fall Harvest Salad being featured this season by Dining Services highlights the best of this time of year. A quinoa base is tossed with kale and spinach, chopped Minnesota apples, and roasted sweet potatoes, which are garnished with fried parsnips and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and then finished with a sweet + spicy dressing. Tenzin Rabga and Malachi Owens are the creatives behind this particular salad and intentionally thought through their seasonal produce choices, sweet-spicy flavor combinations, and inviting crunch that all come together nicely for a satisfying meal. “When making this salad, there were many things I considered, not just my cultural connection because I also wanted my salad to be very inclusive and open to people’s cravings in winter: sweet, hearty, and slightly spicy.” -Tenzin Rabga

 

The Fall Harvest Salad not only satisfies as a fresh, seasonal meal, but it also uplifts the best of Augsburg and its community. As an anchor institution, Augsburg is committed to contributing to the health, safety, and vitality of the community of which we are a part. In 2020, the Sabo Center for Citizenship and Democracy launched the Augsburg Local campaign to mobilize institutional resources in ways that build strong, mutually beneficial community partnerships and respond to community needs and opportunities. By leveraging Augsburg’s economic resources in the form of purchasing and investment dollars, we can build a stronger, more sustainable local economy in a variety of ways. 

Augsburg Local logo

For example, over 75% of the produce and protein ingredients in the Fall Harvest Salad were purchased locally. This was one of the directives requested by the salads’ creators. The kale and sweet potatoes you’ll enjoy were supplied by The Good Acre, a Twin Cities food hub that partners with emerging farmers, many BIPOC, who grow a variety of crops, promoting biodiversity. Of course the apples were grown in Minnesota, since our state can boast of so many varieties from sweet to tart, crisp to ones perfect for pie – and salads! These apples were supplied by Minnesota-based distributor, Bix, which has a special selection of locally-grown products. The parsnips, coming to you in the form of a chip garnish, were sourced from the Wisconsin Growers’ Cooperative via our neighborhood grocery store, the Seward Coop. And even the honey and Hope Creamery butter were Minnesota produced! Ames Farm honey is single source, meaning that it can be traced back to a hive and floral source, “making it unique to a specific time and place in Minnesota.” You can’t get more local than that! 

The Salad Project was born out of Augsburg Local’s co-creative work with students who wanted to drive this transformational social change initiative. Thanks to an Institutional Innovation Grant from the Office of the University President, the Salad Team has been working tirelessly with Dining Services since the beginning of the summer to create salad recipes that satisfy a set of goals oftentimes at odds with one another: 

  • Salads that taste good and students will want to eat.
  • Salads that feature ingredients seasonal to Minnesota and can be locally-sourced.
  • Salads that reflect the tastes, cultures, and identities of their creators.
  • Salads that are cost-effective for Dining Services to produce and the Augsburg community to purchase.

Logos of: Campus Kitchen, Augsburg Dining Services, Pillsbury United Communities, Environmental Stewardship Committee, The Good Acre, Roots for the Hometeam

Thankfully the team had support from the local nonprofit, Roots for the Hometeam and youth from Pillsbury United’s Waite House. They and other high school youth in Twin Cities garden programs sell their student-developed, locally-sourced salads at Twins’ games (and beyond!). The Salad Project Team also relied heavily on the expertise and support of Augsburg’s Dining Services staff to fine-tune their recipes, think creatively about flavor profiles, and partner in the tedious work of serving these salads at-scale in The Commons and Kafeega. These lessons from our partners fed our fun, interactive research and development sessions in Augsburg’s own Food Lab (Hagfors 108). In these sessions, we worked in small teams, divided based on season, to explore flavors, experiment with ingredients, and learn about food preparation techniques.

Grace preparing chicken for her Bodo Indian Green Salad
Grace Koch Muchahary (’23)

 

Here’s Grace Koch Muchahary’s take on the process: “We practiced in teams to get all the details and be confident about our salad ingredients before we presented them to the chefs from Augsburg’s Dining services. We were really happy to get an opportunity to present our summer and winter salads. It was a really good experience to make our own recipes and share them with others – and now with the entire Augsburg community! We had the challenge to reach each of our goals, but having the salad-making sessions before this final day helped a lot to see the process. It was really fun to work closely with the project team members and to support one another.”

 

 

Enjoy the salads!

The Salad Team: Grace Koch Muchahary, Tenzin Rabga, Malachi Owens, Zoe Barany, Reginald Oblitely, Gigi Huerta Herrera, Alyssa Parkhurst, Natalie Jacobson, and Monica McDaniel

Campus Kitchen: Student Experience

Photo of Yamile

My name is Yamile Hernandez, I am a junior pursuing a degree in Finance. I came into Augsburg as a transfer student my sophomore year. I was completely new to campus and to the city, I’m from a small town called Northfield, so it was a bit nerve racking moving to the cities, but I was excited for the change. I wanted to make sure I got involved in programs that allowed me to engage with the community that I now live in. That is exactly what I found and was able to do with Campus Kitchen. 

 

I started working with Campus Kitchen in fall of 2019. Right off the bat I felt very welcomed by all the staff members, it didn’t take long for me to become comfortable with them. Through Campus Kitchen I was able to engage with other students, staff, and community members. I started off with produce distribution, which was a weekly event where we would set up in Christenson Center with boxes of produce that students and staff could come choose from. I enjoyed this very much. It was always nice to hear about the new recipes folks were going to try, or see their excitement when we had a fruit they had been craving. 

 

Not only was I able to engage with the Augsburg community but also the community outside of campus. One example is delivering meals to seniors at Ebenezer Tower apartments. We would start off by packaging meals from surplus dining hall food, we would then head over to Ebenezer and go door to door delivering their meals. This would always take me awhile because I loved hearing about the residents and their day or a new story they had to tell me, and I could never miss heading out on the balcony once I reached the 15th floor and just enjoy the view for a second. This is definitely one of the places I miss most. 

 

Due to covid we had to change and adjust a lot of ways we used to distribute, but our mission and goal to give to the community never changed. We are still able to give groceries to students such as non-perishable goods, produce, hygiene products and more. We no longer get the interaction with students, it is now an order online and delivery system, but it still feels just as good knowing that we are helping in any way possible. These deliveries also go to those in Ebenezer. Although it is very different I still enjoy the work I do, it allows me to get out and move around after sitting on my laptop all day, while still being engaged with the community from a distance.

Meet Our Student Community Garden Coordinators!

The Medtronic Foundation Community Garden at Augsburg University is in full swing, despite a slow start as we navigated how to safely grow food together through COVID-19. Our student workers have been invaluable in helping prepare gardens for planting – both their own communal student plot and plots for some neighbors who needed support – and in making sure health and safety measures like washing shared tools are happening regularly. The garden gathers an inter-generational, intercultural group of neighbors each year, and our student workers have been an invaluable part of making this space available this summer!

Tulela Nashandi woman in a blue shirt smiling in a selfie

woman in red shirt leanign into a storage bench with signs sitting on top of the neighboring bench(She/her/hers)

Senior Biology major

Where are you from?

  • I was born and raised in Namibia.

What have you learned in the garden so far?

  • I have learned that having a green thumb is more than just natural talent, a lot of research goes into the success of gardening.

What has been challenging or surprising?

  • The most challenging part has been figuring out what plants that grew from previous years were food or weeds.

What do you wish more people at Augsburg knew about the garden?

  • I wish more people knew how relaxing and rewarding it is. You really feel like you are part of a community that is doing something really cool. Yep that’s it I wish people knew plants are cool 🙂 It is amazing to see how beautiful some of the gardens look so organized and full of produce.

Soyome Moyawoman in jean vest standing in a vegetable garen holding a trellis and smiling

(She/her/hers)

Biology, Class of 2020

Where are you from?

  • Oromia/Ethiopia

What have you learned in the garden so far?

  • I have learned about the importance of gardening for your mental health. It is a great way to meditate and appreciate nature.

What has been challenging or surprising?

  • The most challenging part of gardening is the work that has to be done during the planting season.

What do you wish more people at Augsburg knew about the garden?

  • The garden is a great place to come together as a community and build relationships.

Francesca Saviowoman with long black hair standing in front of a tall cathedral

(She/her/hers)

First-year Biology major and Chemistry minor

Where are you from?

  • I’m from Italy

What have you learned in the garden so far?

  • I have learned that spending time growing new plants helps me relax and connect with nature.

What has been challenging or surprising?

  • The most challenging part is to learn how to distinguish the different types of plants from the weeds.

What do you wish more people at Augsburg knew about the garden?

  • I wish more people knew how rewarding it is to see grow plants and have the opportunity to eat something that you harvested. I also wish people knew how good of an opportunity is to spend time in a garden together connecting not only with nature but also with the community.

Reyna Lopezwoman with a blonde ponytail and blue shirt taking a selfie

(She/her/hers)

Sophomore, Double major: Psychology, and Marketing; minor: Creative Writing

Where are you from?

  • Saint Paul MN

What have you learned in the garden so far?

  • Patience is key. Things take time, work, and effort.

What has been challenging or surprising?

  • Nothing

What do you wish more people at Augsburg knew about the garden?

  • That anyone can do it, it a resource for many here at Augsburg, and for the community surrounding Augsburg.

 

Cultivating Community: Augsburg’s Community Garden

Ten people in diverse garb sit on the edges of raised garden beds or at tables. Some are eating food, others are looking ahead with attentive gazes.
Gardeners gather for a meal and storytelling event in the garden.

Gazing out the west-facing upper windows of the Hagfors Center on Augsburg’s campus, you can’t miss benches, paths, and raised beds of Augsburg’s community garden. While the garden on the edge of campus has been cultivated since 2008, when the plans for the Hagfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion got underway, there was a distinct opportunity to preserve and re-imagine this unique community garden space. With support from the Medtronic Community Foundation, design guidance from O2 Design, and community-based input, the garden was rebuilt to make the space more accessible, inclusive, and visible. 

Throughout the design process for the new garden space, gardeners and Augsburg staff centered the enduring principles and goals for this vital community connection space: grow food, build relationships, and learn together. Two young people converse while sitting on the edge of a raised bed in the garden.The garden now has wider and defined pathways, clear plot boundaries, and a variety of raised and in-ground beds. 

The re-designed garden just finished its second season of production. With over sixty individual plots and communal growing space cultivated by residents of Cedar-Riverside and Augsburg staff, faculty, and students, the newly rebuilt garden is continuing to offer a place for learning and building community. 

About half of the members of Augsburg’s community garden are neighbors in Cedar-Riverside and Seward (six have a view of the garden from their homes across the street!), and about half are Augsburg staff, faculty, and students. Student groups, such as Hmong Women Together and the Augsburg Indigenous Student Association, tend portions of the communal gardening areas, and about ten students from TRIO Summer Bridge spent time learning in the garden over the 2019 growing season.

Individual gardeners are not the only people to utilize the garden; this fall, several professors teaching classes focused on food and sustainability are also capitalizing on the presence of the garden. From a history of food class, to a course on environmental connections to food, a chemistry AugSem, and a science of food and cooking class: the garden has increasingly become a laboratory for classroom learning on wide-ranging subjects related to growing and consuming food. Other classes utilize the garden in less formal ways, perhaps holding a class outside by The Loveliest of Trees, or sending students out for discussion as they walk the garden paths.

Natalie Jacobson and Allyson Green enjoy conversation in the garden. Another individual is in the foreground wearing a red backpack, their back turned to the camera.
Campus Kitchen Coordinator Natalie Jacobson (left) and Chief Sustainability Officer Allyson Green (right) enjoy conversation at a garden event.

During the summer and fall of 2019, the garden began to utilize the Food Lab space in the Hagfors Center for potlucks and food preparation. Chief Sustainability Officer Allyson Green, who oversees the garden, remarked that the first session of gardeners gathering in the food lab over the summer was the highlight of the season; people got to know one another and shared cooking techniques and conversation as they made sambusas. This season also saw a student-led storytelling event in partnership with Mixed Blood Theater and food activist, LaDonna Redmond. As gardeners and others are living into the new space, opportunities for connecting and learning with and from each other are growing alongside the vegetables. 

One challenge with the garden rebuild was impacted soil in the in-ground beds due to construction equipment. After the garden was initially built, gardeners were having a difficult time cultivating healthy root systems for their plants, requiring that all of the in-ground beds be dug up and the soil turned. Thankfully, dozens of students, several classes, and a few athletic teams answered the call, picking up shovels and making quick work of the beds that required turning.

When asked about how the garden fits into the overall sustainability commitments of Augsburg, Allyson noted that the garden is a visible demonstration of Augsburg’s commitment to caring for the place where Augsburg is located. By tending to our natural environment and building a place for community building, food access, and learning, the garden is an important aspect of Augsburg’s place-based and anchor institution work. 

An aerial view of the Augsburg Community Garden. A table in the foreground has food on it, and people are lining up to serve themselves.Allyson also noted her hopes for the garden. With twenty-five people on the waiting list, she hopes that the garden can continue to be a vital place on-campus for learning and relationship building that contributes to the well-being of the whole community. She dreams that the garden might be a model for cooperation and learning that can spread to other areas of campus, and even to other communities! 

As a space that requires the cooperation of dozens of people who all have different ideas about ways of growing food, habits of organization and storage, and different cultures, personalities, and life stories, the garden is a unique place for experimentation, building community amongst difference, and finding a middle ground. Here’s to a successful growing season and many more to come!

2018-2019 Year in Review

neighbors eating at garden partyThe Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship had a whirlwind 2018-2019 school year. From workshops and lectures to community-based collaboration, campus-wide initiatives, and hosting a national conference, in addition to our day-to-day programs like LEAD Fellows, Campus Kitchen, and Public Achievement, this past year was full to the brim. We are thankful for all of our partners and collaborators in this ever-changing and exciting work. As we look ahead to the new school year, we are proud to share some highlights from 2018-2019:

Democracy Augsburg:

During the fall of 2018, the Sabo Center hosted 18(!) workshops and teach-ins on topics ranging from community organizing basics to the opioid epidemic, democracy in South Africa, citizenship and community agency, and more. Sabo Center staff invited candidates from across the political spectrum to campus for tabling and outreach prior to the 2018 midterm elections, and significantly increased our center’s visibility with students, staff, and faculty.

Student Employment Pilot:

Led by Sabo Center Director Elaine Eschenbacher, the Sabo Center initiated a student employment pilot program that worked closely with supervisors and students to make on-campus student employment more meaningful and useful, both for departments employing student workers and for students in their own career preparation. Twenty students and their supervisors went through orientation, training, and structured reflection throughout the course of the school year, and a report on the results of the program are forthcoming.

Environmental Stewardship:

The intern team of three undergraduate students, one graduate student, and a MN GreenCorps member hosted several events throughout the school year exploring the intersections of equity and sustainability, including a “Sip-Sustain-Stories” discussion series and a “Sustainability is No Joke” storytelling event facilitated by RFTP. In collaboration with Campus Kitchen, students began work to set up a campus “Share Shop”–a space created by and for students to reduce consumption, mitigate student costs by providing access to things like tools, and creating a community space where students can take part in informal learning around sustainable practices and skills sharing. The Share Shop and Campus Cupboard (student-run food shelf) are excited to co-locate in the basement of the Old Science building in the fall of 2019.

Campus Kitchen:

Campus Kitchen saw the exciting addition of two new staff members, LaToya Taris-James and Natalie Jacobson. The Campus Kitchen student leadership team deepened the Campus Kitchen partnership with the Brian Coyle Community Center youth program, beginning weekly cooking sessions in the Augsburg Food Lab and in the Brian Coyle kitchen. Another highlight of the year was a garden party event featuring local food activist La Donna Redmond and storytelling facilitated by Mixed Blood Theater.

Place-Based Justice Network Summer Institute:

The Sabo Center was thrilled to host our colleagues in the Place-Based Justice Network for the network’s annual conference. Read more about the PBJN Summer Institute it the blog featuring highlights of the conference. 

Undoing White Body Supremacy Pilot Project:

In partnership with Augsburg’s Equity and Inclusion Initiatives, staff members at the Sabo Center are leading a pilot cohort of white faculty and staff learning to undo the ways white supremacy shows up in our bodies, not just in our minds. Selected applicants will meet and learn together throughout the 2019-2020 academic year. This is body-based racial justice work, informed by Somatic Experiencing®  and Interpersonal Neurobiology. You can read more about this exciting project on the Sabo Center Blog.

LEAD Fellows:

The 2018-2019 LEAD Fellows cohort had innovative programming, including a session about radical self-care, a vocation panel of recent graduates, and leadership styles exercises, including a town hall meeting simulation. New community partners hosting LEAD Fellows this year included OutFront MN and Inquilinxs Unidxs. And, best of all, we welcomed LaToya Taris-James, an amazing new staff member who brings a wealth of experience in youth and leadership development to supporting both the LEAD Fellows program and Campus Kitchen!

Interfaith @ Cedar Commons:

Once a month, Interfaith Scholars and community members meet together for food and interfaith conversations on a variety of topics. Topics for 2018-2019 included Wellness and Faith, Intersection of Culture and Religion, Religion as a Tool for Oppression and Liberation, and Interfaith Perspectives Post-Election.

Community-Based Learning:

Director of Community Engagement Mary Laurel True collaborates with faculty across the University to connect their classes to community organizations and projects. Some highlights from 2018-2019 included co-hosting a national conference on Cuba with faculty in the Spanish department, and bringing Spanish classes to the Mexican consulate in St. Paul to learn about their work with immigration and new immigrant communities in Minnesota. In collaboration with Religion department professors, students completed 12 visits to diverse places of worship (mosques, churches, synagogues, and temples), connecting their visits with study of interfaith topics.

 

Interested to join us for 2019-2020? Check out the Calendar and Events page, and be sure to like the Sabo Center of Facebook (@sabocenter) for all the latest on workshops, events, and ways to plug in!

Inter-generational Connections: Campus Kitchen and Ebenezer Tower

By Alana Goodson

Students dish out food while others sit around a table.
Students serve food at Ebenezer Tower.

Ebenezer Tower on Portland Avenue in Minneapolis is a place that many senior residents call home. The residents are diverse in age, ethnicity, and history. Ebenezer Tower and Augsburg Campus Kitchen have a partnership that involves building community through sharing food together. Campus Kitchen students deliver lunches to seniors on Thursday afternoons, and on Fridays, we serve and eat dinner at Ebenezer. This partnership has allowed many young college students like myself to build relationships with senior residents.

I have led many Ebenezer Tower meal shifts over the past three semesters. In the beginning, it was difficult to establish relationships because there were so many residents to talk to and many names to remember – but as time went on, I became more familiar with the regulars and began to remember their names as they began to remember mine.

Although I lead most shifts with the assistance of volunteers, I have led a number of them alone. It was during those shifts that I received a large amount of gratitude from the residents, and they were truly grateful for the effort and persistence that I displayed so that we could share this weekly dinner. On March 9th, 2018, Kat and Rita, two residents, told me, “We can help you as much as you need, we appreciate you coming before your spring break, all by yourself.” That is not the only time they have expressed their gratitude. On April 13th, 2018, Bruce came up to me after his meal and said, “Thank you for coming even with the weather conditions.” From these comments, and many others, it is evident that the relationship Campus Kitchen and Ebenezer Tower have built together is appreciated.

The residents have not stopped with their meaningful expressions of gratitude. This semester, they donated five large boxes of non-perishable foods and over one hundred dollars to support Augsburg’s Campus Cupboard, a food shelf available to all students. It has been amazing to see the continuous reciprocal relationship that has been built between the Augsburg and Ebenezer community. We continue to bring food to them every week, and every couple of weeks they donate a couple more dollars or food that they have been keeping in stock just for our cupboard. 

The residents at Ebenezer have been so supportive towards Campus Kitchen at Augsburg University and me. I will forever be grateful for their clapping and cheers that I receive with my volunteers as we walk in at 6 pm. I believe this is because every time that they welcome us in, I can feel the community coming closer together–and it feels a little more cozy, like home, every time.

Serving up food and fun with Campus Kitchen Step-Up interns

Hi my name is Davonte and I worked as one of Augsburg’s Campus Kitchen summer Step-up interns and it was my first ever job experience. Over the summer I’ve acquired a variety of job experiences and practiced many skills such as cooking, gardening, and researching food systems. Every Monday through Thursday I served food with the youth at the Brian Coyle Center and on Saturday I participated in the gleaning at the Mill City Farmer’s Market where we collected fresh donations of produce and gave it elders at The Cedars senior apartment building in Cedar-Riverside. It was a lot of hard work but it was also very fun and well worth the time. For example, going to the Guthrie Theatre during my shift on Saturday to enjoy the views made the time go so much faster.

This summer while cooking I learned new things such as new recipes made from fresh and healthy ingredients that ended up tasting really good like zucchini muffins and cucumber popsicles. Also one of my favorite parts of the job was just making other people happy by giving them food. It’s a rewarding experience.  

-Davonte

 

Hey, my name is Raykel and this past summer I worked for Campus Kitchen through the Minneapolis Step Up program. “What’s Campus Kitchen you ask?” Well Campus Kitchen is a food organization that is basically built off of donations. Any food not used in the Augsburg kitchen that has already been prepared but wasn’t eaten is given to Campus Kitchen to be reused. We have a wide variety of the kinds of food that we get, although once the food is put into the fridge we have a week to use it and most times it gets used and if not we freeze it. Another question you probably have is “Where does the food go once prepared everyday?” Well, Monday-Thursday the food is made and distributed to the Brian Coyle Center, for the children and even the adults (depending on how much we have left) but kids always eat first. Fridays, twice a month we take food to the elders at Ebenezer Tower Apartments and eat dinner with them. Campus Kitchen is like an organization that is always giving back to the community. Did I mention the garden where the community gets together and grows what they want to?

This job gives many opportunities. For instance, you meet people at a college and you learn things about the college that you didn’t know before. Also, you can put it on your resume. Plus if you ever need a job when you come to college then you know a place that you don’t even have to leave campus for. There were many memories and skills that we made and learned over the summer but there’s a couple that stand out to me:  knowledge of plants and knowledge of cooking in the kitchen. For two weeks in the summer time we had a gap in our schedule because the Brian Coyle Center was shut down so we helped out MN Urban Debate League camp. During, before, or even after their lunch we always could eat lunch so who wouldn’t go back for 3rds? This job helped me gain a lot of knowledge about many things and I’m very grateful for a great job.

Here’s some photos from the summer time:

1st photo is from the Garden

2nd photo was when we prepared the food by ourselves

-Raykel N.

 

Sabo Center Collaboration: Cultivating Civic Skills for Community-Centered Healthcare

When most people think of nursing, the first association that comes to mind is not usually “political.” But the Nursing Department at Augsburg College, in partnership with staff at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship, is encouraging their students to think of nursing as just that: public, change-making work, focused on relationship-building, public dialogue, and grassroots efforts in local context.

Beginning in 2009, the Augsburg College Nursing Department began collaborating with the Sabo Center, bringing in Public Achievement Organizer Dennis Donovan to teach graduate students about beginning organizing skills, such as one-to-one relational meetings. In the years since, the Augsburg nursing program has turned to social change-making as a key component of its course curriculum, focusing on the social barriers to health in addition to bedside care. After receiving a grant from the Augsburg College president’s office in 2014, the Nursing Department worked with Sabo Center staff to train department faculty about civic skills and to subsequently embed these concepts into curriculum and coursework. Such core civic skills include one-to-one relational meetings, formulating public narrative, deliberative dialogue, power mapping, and public evaluation.

Katie Clark, Nursing Instructor and Director of Augsburg Central Health Commons and Health Commons in Cedar-Riverside, incorporated these civic skills into a graduate-level class focused on unique models of care and communities as the foundation of health, utilizing a social justice lens. For their final project, students had to apply civic skills in the context of their care site. The impact on student’s professional self-understanding was immense, according to Clark. Because of the incorporation of civic-focused strategies in their nursing practice, “students think about how they can create change in different ways. I don’t think people in nursing really think of themselves as political,” Clark said, “Nurses are more caregivers…(but) students get out of that mindset and think, ‘Oh, I could have a one-on-one (relational meeting) with that person.’ I see students thinking about engaging in their community differently.”

The collaboration with the Sabo Center has complimented the nursing department’s commitment to transcultural nursing, a model for nursing that holistically considers culture, life patterns, and other social factors while providing culturally competent care. Health and people are viewed not as discreet cases, but as individuals who are incorporated into webs of relation and inhabit different ways of being in the world. Nursing thus becomes concerned with community health, examining how and where people belong, the strength of human connections, and health inequities. Rooted in community-based praxis, nursing professionals know not only how to administer direct care, but how to build relationships, formulate a public narrative about community health, and advocate for change.

The community-based, transcultural focus of Augsburg’s nursing program has also intersected with another Sabo Center program, Campus Kitchen. For the past 4 years, the Nursing Department and the Sabo Center have partnered to host an AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteer, with a particular focus on the intersection of the Health Commons and the Campus Kitchen-run Augsburg Community Garden. Through the relationship between the two programs, more Cedar-Riverside residents have been engaged with the garden; additionally, the relationship between Health Commons and Campus Kitchen has been key to the success of the farmer’s market gleaning project, with a neighborhood health liaison hired by Health Commons spreading the word about the program and distributing food.

Partnerships and collaboration are a hallmark of the Sabo Center’s work, and the relationship with the Nursing Department embodies our mission to foster civic agency, to help cultivate public, change-making skills, and to forge connections with the local community.

Want to learn more? Visit the Health Commons website, the Augsburg College Nursing Department website, the Augsburg Campus Kitchen website, and the Sabo Center website.