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SLO’s “Heart of the Issue”

Chloe Stuber, guest writer

Last spring, the Service Learning Office launched the “Heart of the Issue” with six semester-long workshops focusing on land conservation, food and child nutrition, homelessness, economic justice, affordable housing and HIV/AIDS awareness.

The workshops were implemented in an effort to generate a more holistic understanding of the issues around which we provide direct service, “digging deeper” into the causes behind the issues and learning about the efforts of our local community to create change. We achieve this through direct service, advocacy and policy work. To further educate ourselves, we invite guest speakers to campus and visit organizations in the Asheville-Buncombe area.

Aside from the 25 hours of service each participant completes, these workshops have provided a meaningful experience to all involved and have helped to establish a more profound relationship between our campus and the outside community.

This semester we have had four groups working hard to better understand the issues of food insecurity, immigration, land conservation and aging. Since January, they have come together several times a week to serve the community and learn all they can about these relevant issues.

Needless to say, they are all very excited about their experience and eager to share their stories with the wider community. And wouldn’t it strike your fancy to hear them? We thought so. That is why the Service Learning Office has planned an exposition of the “Heart of the Issue” workshops to be held on the Cow Pie patio April 29 from 4 to 6 p.m.

Outside, each group will have a table with information, helpful visuals and group members to answer questions. Inside Cow Pie, we’ll be showing the insightful videos that each group has created over the course of the semester. If you can’t make it before 6 p.m., the videos will continue to play throughout dinner.

We have invited students, faculty, staff and all other involved community partners. Good conversation. Important topics. Great things to get excited about. Make it a point to stop by Thursday April 29; we look forward to seeing you!


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