DEEP community fellowship gathering
The primary goal of DEEP is to serve as a bridge between scholarship on cultural adaptations required for our species to survive climate change. Developing sustainable political and commercial responses requires sufficient popular support in turn making it a priority for policymakers.
The heart of this program is a community organizing endeavor to build a collective base for increasing regional resiliency and generating transformational dynamics that lead to increased equality of opportunity and quality of life.
Additionally, DEEP was initiated in the middle of a global transformation following COVID and the social and economic repercussions of a world recovering from fear and general unwellness. The program effectively brought people back together in the community working towards a more sustainable and healthy future, cultivating empowerment and a new sense of control and resiliency. DEEP is now in a season of harvest.
In this cross-community and cross-cultural pollination, HSP will push the boundaries of modern traditional education as DEEP strives to implement a more inclusive and mindful pollinator curriculum.
In the past four months, DEEP developed a collaboration with local community clubs to install pollinator gardens with local schools and develop invasive species extraction teams to work around critical locations for the local watershed. The main focus of this collaboration is to create relationships between communities that rarely interact. We think of this work as community pollination which includes engagements of critical reflection concerning the lasting impacts of redlining on the quality of life and opportunities for youth in the community.
Our intercultural service programming aims to bring together students who participate in activities defined as identity group organizations. These groups include the Black Students Association, the LatinX Club, the United Methodist Student group, and the Jewish Student Union. The program is to engage these students in joint service projects that include reflection and fellowship.
The planned projects support a food pantry that serves a diverse demographic—coordinating with a community garden program that connects economically disadvantaged inner-city schools with more affluent schools.
Another important component of the program is to engage students with the outreach and planning of water and sanitation ventures in connection with Rotary International and the WASH group. The activities would provide critical research assistance, social media marketing, networking services, and resource mapping.
The Highland Support Project networks academic and service organizations to support community-driven projects through a methodology that increases individual and community resilience.
DEEP's programming strives to develop community partnerships capable of addressing environmental justice issues and improving the quality of life through a methodology that provides individuals with opportunities for leadership, participation, and social capital formation.
This past fall semester, HSP has continued engagement with over 20 local college students to foster passion acquisition pathways and provide project planning/management and relevant career skills. Students were given the space and resources to utilize and flex their individual skill sets over more than 1200 hours of community engagements including Rally in the Alley events, community clean-up, the continuation of pollinator gardens, and community outreach surrounding climate change.
One major accomplishment was the Rally event organized, promoted, and facilitated by a team of VCU students to raise awareness about the land agency and religious freedom crisis happening at Oak Flat, Arizona – a sacred Apache Land reserve – that turned out over 200 people.
We invite you to participate in one of our many community-building events to build power for climate action. Join us for our student-organized events in the Alley located behind AlterNatives at 3320 West Cary Street. Richmond, VA. 23220. The Alley is an intentional space for subaltern cultural creation run by the students of HSP's DEEP program.
Thank you so much for your continued support we can’t wait to share what we’ve grown together!
DEEP student lead and organized community event
DEEP lead and organized community event
DEEP student made marketing graphic