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Nourish International

Examining Power, Privilege, and our Role in International Development by Nathan Albright

November 18, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Alumni Spotlight, Newsletters, Nourish in the News, Office Updates, Student Advisory Board, Summer Institute, Summer Projects | By

Sometimes to think critically, you need to listen to your biggest critics. It would be hard to find someone who was more critical of international volunteer projects than Ivan Illich. As we begin looking into potential project partners for next summer, maybe listening to someone like Illich will help us think more critically about some of the tough decisions involved.

In 1968, the philosopher and former Catholic Priest spoke to the “Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects” about its work in Mexico and Latin America. In this impassioned speech, he told the well intentioned ‘do-gooders’ that “the existence of organizations like yours is offensive” and “to hell with good intentions… the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Here’s a little of what he went on to say:

By definition, you cannot help being ultimately vacationing salesmen for the middle-class “American Way of Life,” since that is really the only life you know.
Next to money and guns, the third largest North American export is the U.S. idealist…
Ideally, these people define their role as service. Actually, they frequently wind up alleviating the damage done by money and weapons, or “seducing” the “underdeveloped” to the benefits of the world of affluence and achievement.
All you will do in a Mexican village is create disorder.
You start on your task without any training. Even the Peace Corps spends around $10,000 on each corps member to help him adapt to his new environment and to guard him against culture shock. How odd that nobody ever thought about spending money to educate poor Mexicans in order to prevent them from the culture shock of meeting you?
Suppose you went to a U.S. ghetto this summer and tried to help the poor there “help themselves.” Very soon you would be either spit upon or laughed at. People offended by your pretentiousness would hit or spit. People who understand that your own bad consciences push you to this gesture would laugh condescendingly. Soon you would be made aware of your irrelevance among the poor, of your status as middle-class college students on a summer assignment. … If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go to hell. It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you are so linguistically deaf and dumb that you don’t even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you. And it is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as “good,” a “sacrifice” and “help.”

That was nearly 50 years ago. Since then, the phenomenon of traveling to economically poor regions to volunteer—sometimes referred to as voluntourism—has seen a dramatic rise in popularity. But are the same issues Illich warned against still relevant today?

A more recent viewpoint comes from Linda Richter, executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council, who led a study looking into what she calls the “thriving industry of AIDS orphan tourism” in sub-Saharan Africa. What she found is disturbing. The majority of children in these orphanages are not orphans, she explains “[they] are there because of poverty rather than because their parents have died. Destitute parents may place their children in orphanages in the hope that their child will receive meals, clothing and schooling.” An influx of voluntourists who are willing to pay for the emotionally powerful experience of working in an orphanage has effectively created a market for orphans that local communities are now filling by giving up their own children. Richter explains:

Short-term volunteer tourists are encouraged to “make intimate connections” with previously neglected, abused, and abandoned young children. However, shortly after these ‘connections’ have been made, tourists leave—many undoubtedly feeling that they have made a positive contribution to the plight of very vulnerable children. And, in turn, feeling very special as a result of receiving a needy child’s affection. Unfortunately, many of the children they leave behind have experienced another abandonment to the detriment of their short- and long-term emotional and social development.

Rather than being raised by their living parents and family members, children are raised through an ever-changing stream of foreign volunteers that is “likely to be especially damaging to young children.” In light of this kind of study, it’s understandable that Illich and others have warned against voluntourism altogether. It’s disturbing to imagine the kind of damage that can be (and has been) done to a small community by a group of well-intentioned Westerners on a whirlwind trip to “make a difference” abroad. But how does something like that happen? And how can we avoid being part of a potentially detrimental project? Social critic and entrepreneur Pippa Biddle thinks it starts with acknowledging privilege.

When it comes to the power dynamics of voluntourism, it is all about privilege. Privilege comes in a multitude of forms and is sometimes hard to identify. There is racial privilege, then there is economic privilege, educational privilege, geographic privilege, gender privilege, religious privilege, privilege that comes with adhering to heteronormative standards, skinny privilege, and a million more that have yet to be recognized or that I just do not know.
Privilege is, at its core, easy to identify but difficult to own up to. Those who experience it, myself included, struggle to openly recognize its existence as we hope beyond hope that our kind intentions and good will are enough to overcome it. But they aren’t. Intentions are not enough.

Amy Ernst, a human rights advocate and international aid worker, agrees that good intentions won’t protect those you may work with and offers a concrete example from her experience:

The small team I worked with taught me the many ways I could make problems worse, even with the best of intentions… it’s not always easy to predict when your actions will cause harm. As a white American, my presence alone indicated wealth and could endanger people—even entire villages—as armed groups, or community members, in desperate need could have targeted people I spoke with, thinking I had left money or goods behind.

Rafia Zakaria, a columnist for Pakistan’s largest English-language newspaper, explains another pitfall of unchecked privilege in a foreign culture:

Typically other people’s problems seem simpler, uncomplicated and easier to solve than those of one’s own society. In this context, the decontextualized hunger and homelessness in Haiti, Cambodia or Vietnam is an easy moral choice. Unlike the problems of other societies, the failing inner city schools in Chicago or the haplessness of those living on the fringes in Detroit is connected to larger political narratives. In simple terms, the lack of knowledge of other cultures makes them [seem] easier to help.

The dangers of privilege and relying on good intentions are very real and are all the more reason to be cautious and well-informed while interacting with another culture. However most, like Zakaria, believe there is still a great value to the experience of working alongside a foreign community and that “despite its flaws, the educational aspect of voluntourism’s cross-cultural exchange must be saved, made better instead of being rejected completely.” Zakaria believes we can do this by focusing on “the recipient community’s actual needs” as opposed to “the volunteer’s quest for experience.” Plenty of others offer their own advice and experiences to consider while you sift through international projects:

Richter suggests that rather than volunteering in an orphanage:

Every available resource should be utilised to support families and extended kin to enable them to provide high quality care for their children. Out-of-home residential care should not be an option when support can be given to families to take care of their own children.

Biddle believes we should first look at what we have to offer a community:

Wanting to create change does not necessarily mean that you have the skills or access to the resources needed to make that happen… [Students] should be helped, with input from the community, in finding what skills she can offer, whether that be fund-raising for new textbooks or helping with the harvest.

Young volunteers offer unique sets of skills and experiences that most current placement organizations don’t do enough to take advantage of. By sending volunteers to do complicated tasks, we set them up for failure and increase the likelihood that their trips become poverty tourism rather than productive service work.

Ernst reminds us that even if we think we have a pretty firm grasp on the project situation:

Accountability and humility are key. You may not have a training booklet telling you what’s right or wrong, but local experts exist everywhere. And if you look hard enough, you will find that all skills are needed; you just need to figure out where and how to apply them in the appropriate context.

Ossob Mohamud, a contributor for an African subsidiary of The Guardian, suggests addressing the “root institutional and structural causes of the problem”:

Time and energy would be better spent building real solidarity between disparate societies based on mutual respect and understanding. Instead of focusing on surface symptoms of poverty, volunteers and the organisations that recruit them should focus on the causes that often stem from an unjust global economic order. Why not advocate and campaign for IMF and World Bank reforms? How about having volunteers advocate for their home country to change aggressive foreign and agricultural policies (such as subsidy programmes)? This might seem unrealistic but the idea is to get volunteers to understand their own (direct or indirect) role in global poverty. The idea is to get volunteers truly invested in ending poverty, and not simply to feel better about themselves.

Among the countless voices offering opinions on navigating the world of international volunteering, there isn’t one that reveals a clear path to picking a partner or a guaranteed method for a successful project. From the partner selection process to your first day on site, to posting pictures online and talking to friends when you get home, there’s a lot to be considered. A few basic themes seem to repeat:

Be educated. Learn whatever you can about the region and the culture of the people you’re planning to work with. Be aware of the historical events that led to their complicated situation and to your own.

Be humble. Part of learning is knowing how much you still don’t know. Remember that you’re coming from a position of immense privilege- simply by being enrolled in a college and travelling by plane to a project you are part of a relatively small global class. Be aware of the power dynamic this creates as well as the danger that power brings with it.

Be practical. Good intentions are not enough to guarantee success. Find out what the community needs (as opposed to what you want to do), and ask yourselves what you can realistically contribute. Attack root causes, rather than surface problems. Will people be better off when you leave? Pick a project or partner that has proven results.

At the end of the day, try to be thankful for the incredible gift of being invited into another culture and remember how much there is to learn from a culture so incredibly different than our own. Even Ivan Illich has some advice for those who are willing to go abroad humbly:

[Traveling on these projects] could lead you to new awareness: the awareness that even North Americans can receive the gift of hospitality without the slightest ability to pay for it; the awareness that for some gifts one cannot even say “thank you.”

Nathan Albright is the Community Discourse Coordinator at Nourish International.

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Annotations:

Ivan Illich speech to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects

http://blogs.cornell.edu/ccecrosscultural/2011/11/09/ivan-illich-to-hell-with-good-intentions/

HSRC- AIDS Orphan Tourism

http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/review/August-2010/aids-orphan-tourism

New York Times- Voluntourism Debate http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/04/29/can-voluntourism-make-a-difference/poverty-as-a-tourist-attraction

Pippa Biddle- White Girls Aren’t The Problem…
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/pippa-biddle/little-white-girls-arent-_b_6062638.html

Rafia Zakaria- The White Tourist’s Burden
http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/4/volunter-tourismwhitevoluntouristsafricaaidsorphans.html

Ossob Mohamud
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/feb/13/beware-voluntourists-doing-good

Welcome Fall 2014 Interns

September 17, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

We are excited to welcome seven interns to our team this fall!

Anna Graves, Events and Outreach

IMG_4031Anna is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying geography and religious studies. During her time as an undergraduate student, she has been a mentor for three international students and involved with organizations such as United Students Against Sweatshops. As a returning intern from summer 2014, Anna is excited to continue working with Nourish as the Events and Outreach Intern and to participate in their movement, which relies on students and education to create sustainable growth and social development both locally and internationally. In her free time she enjoys exploring, the outdoors, drawing, painting, attending concerts and spending time with family and friends.

 

 

 

Jessika Virtanen, Corporate and Foundational Outreach

550559_496980056983777_1692545746_nJessika is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in economics and global studies. She is interested in the concept of social entrepreneurship and ultimately intends to utilize her economics degree to help impoverished communities implement long-term changes. After interning with Nourish over the summer, she is excited to further explore nonprofit work this fall as the Corporate and Foundational Outreach Intern. She also works for the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association, an organization which provides resources for high school and college media organizations across the state, is on the Advocacy committee for UNC’s Relay for Life chapter, and has spent time tutoring the children of Burmese immigrants in local elementary schools. Her interests include running, reading and traveling.

 

 

Anna Long, Public Relations

302587_10150379429314318_462098958_nAnna is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying public relations and history. After becoming involved with both journalism and nonprofit work in college, she knew she wanted to channel her writing to make a positive impact in the community. She is passionate about sustainability and hopes to see Nourish’s model of social entrepreneurship and community-based solutions gain national attention. As a returning intern from summer 2014, she is excited to continue and further expand upon her work as the Public Relations Intern, which will allow her the opportunity to help raise awareness for the organization. In her free time, she enjoys reading, going to concerts and spending time at the lake.

 

 

 

Tammy Chen, Chapter Support

TammyphotoTammy is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Hispanic Studies. She is interested in pursuing a professional path that embraces the intersection of social policy and population health. This past summer, Tammy interned at an NGO in Chile to contribute to the foundation’s efforts to actualize global poverty alleviation/South-South cooperation in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Aside from her internship, she discovered her newfound love for snowboarding while in the Andes mountains. She also enjoys discovering new music, exercising, learning foreign language, and hearing the stories/perspectives of people from all over the world. This fall, Tammy will work with Nourish as the Chapter Support Intern.

 

Nae Won, Chapter Founders Team Lead

10494690_662410607190176_5779469349781380883_nA native of Charlotte, N.C., Nae is a junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill double majoring in public policy (health concentration) and global studies-global health with a minor in medical anthropology. Nae has served in various executive positions for student organizations, which exposed her to the knowledge of international relations, team management, and organization communication. She recently served as the American Executive Committee Chair for a student-led month long international conference — the Korea-America Student Conference — and is currently serving as a Special Events Coordinator for the UNC-CH Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, International Sorority Inc. Nae developed a passion for public health during her senior year of high school, when she witnessed inequality of healthcare during her mission trip to Costa Rica. Since then, she has dreamed of one day founding her own nonprofit to provide equal access to sustainable healthcare and human rights internationally. Other than taking classes, leading organizations, planning events, and working a part-time job as a manager in the student union, she loves to travel, listen to and play music, walk, and enjoy life to the fullest with the people she loves.

Carson Ledford, Business Consultant

image-2Carson is a junior global health studies major and public policy minor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Originally from Charlotte, N.C., he has been actively involved with the Ronald McDonald House Charity since 2010 and now enjoys exploring ways to give back in the Triangle. He is excited to work with Nourish International as the Business Consultant Intern to help continue the financial growth and success of the organization. One of his passions is international development, an area he hopes to pursue more through Nourish as well as post-undergrad. In his spare time, he likes to travel, spend time with his family, and restaurant hop.

 

 

Sam Salvesen, Lead Generation

603710_10151060353099599_990596489_nSam is a a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill double majoring in economics and Latin American Studies. He developed an interest in nonprofit work while studying abroad in Brazil for eight months, where he witnessed first-hand the profound inequalities that pervade the country. Sam’s passion for nonprofits was solidified after he spent a month in Guatemala City conducting a socioeconomic survey in the largest informal settlement in Central America (more than 60,000 residents living in a ravine). He is eager to work with Nourish to seek out healthy partnerships with community leaders all over the world with the goal of one day returning to Brazil to start his own social enterprise. In his spare time, he enjoys skateboarding, playing soccer and taking spontaneous trips to the beach.

Nourish International Launches New Look!

August 20, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

Nourish Community,

We are pleased to roll out our new logo and tagline this month. Nourish International’s new look can be attributed to a partnership with Clean Design, a brand and ad agency based in Raleigh, NC that was recently named the #1 Graphic Design Firm in the Triangle. All of their services were generously donated to support the re-brand.

nourish_logo_cmyk

Our new logo, featured in our August 2014 Newsletter, captures the three elements and synergy of our work to engage students, empower communities, and use business as a tool to impact poverty. In addition, the vibrant colors capture the global reach of our work and innovative spirit of the Nourish Network. Our new tagline, “Impacting Poverty with Ingenuity,” showcases our entrepreneurial spirit and unique model in our field of work.

We are delighted to share our new look with you and hope you will join us in showing our appreciation for Clean Design for their tremendous support in this process.

Kelly's Signature

Kelly Leonhardt Phoenix
Executive Director
Nourish International

P.S. Interested in representing the new Nourish look? Purchase one of our Nourish T-Shirts today! Shirts are just $15. Deadline to order is tomorrow (8/21) at 10PM. Buy one today!

Meet Your 2014 Summer Institute Speakers!

July 16, 2014 | Posted in Nourish Office, Office Updates, Summer Institute | By

The 2014 Summer Institute is just two weeks away! As we anxiously count down the days, we would like to thank this year’s amazing speakers. Because of their inspiring words, Nourish students will be better positioned to make a lasting impact as they jump into another year of social entrepreneurship. Let’s take a moment to learn about eight of our guests in the first of a series of speaker features. Stay tuned for more!

Without further ado, 

Sam Vaghar, Millennium Campus Network

Sam VagharSam is the Executive Director and co-founder of The Millennium Campus Network — a national non-profit committed to supporting the efforts of university student leaders working towards global development. Under Sam’s leadership, the MCN educates more than 1,000 campus leaders through annual conferences, trains emerging leaders through an innovative fellowship program, and allocates Student Action Grants to support activism on campuses and overseas. In 2012, Sam was selected for the 2012 list of the “Top 99 most influential foreign policy leaders under the age of 33″ by The Diplomatic Courier and Young Professionals in Foreign Policy. Sam is a 2008 graduate of Brandeis University. He will be kicking off the Institute to get everyone excited for a great conference!

 

Carlyle Singer, Acumen Fund

Carlyle SingerCarlyle joined Acumen, a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of poverty, as Chief Operating Officer in March 2013. She is responsible for the organization’s core operating activities, including management support to the Country Directors and functional heads in Expansion, Legal, Finance, Talent and Operations. Prior to joining Acumen, Carlyle spent seven years as President and CEO of Katun Corporation, a global, middle market, privately held company in the compatible consumables imaging space. Carlyle is an MBA graduate from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, with a concentration in Latin American Economic Development. She will be speaking at the “More Money = More Impact” session to explain how to use business as a tool for good.

LaHoma Romocki, Nourish International Board of Directors & former Cameroon Peace Corps Director

Lahoma-Romocki2Dr. Romocki is a Health Communication specialist with extensive experience in the area of reproductive health, including the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STDs. She has developed a network of colleagues throughout government and non-governmental programs to integrate research findings into communication and training programs targeting service providers, policy makers and family planning clients. Dr. Romocki has substantive work experience in nine developing countries. She will be speaking in the Projects Ethics session about issues we encounter in the field of international development.

 

Sarah Miller Frazer, Nourish International

sarah miller frazerAs an advocate for the power and sustainability of grassroots development, Sarah cares deeply about engaging students and empowering communities to make a lasting impact on global poverty. She holds a B.A. from Pomona College in international politics with a focus in community development and African politics. While at Pomona, Sarah studied abroad in Cameroon, where she learned firsthand the benefits of participatory community-led development efforts. She has held several positions at Nourish since she started working in fall 2010, where her work has included Chapter Support, the launch of new programs and expanding the Nourish network. At the Institute, Sarah will be sharing insights into goal-setting and project management, among other topics.

 

Jennifer DeSimone, Waveborn

Jennifer-DesimoneJennifer is currently the National Sales Director at Waveborn, a socially responsible sunglasses company. She is passionate about social enterprise as a way to invite consumers to vote with their dollars and to support sustainable empowerment initiatives in communities around the world. A graduate of both Elon University and American University, Jennifer has worked for social enterprises, non-profits, the US Federal Government and is a StartingBloc fellow. Her experience includes working with Representative Rosa DeLaura on her initiative to prevent acts of sexual violence against women and girls in Africa , as well as an internship with Amnesty International. You can learn more about her work at Career Day!

 

Ed Cheely, Citrix ShareFile

ed cheelyEd is the Senior Director of Sales and Business Development at Citrix ShareFile, a leading software company in virtualization, networking and cloud infrastructure. After graduating from Duke University, Ed moved on to leadership positions in both the for-profit and non-profit arenas, working closely with his mentor, August Turak. After managing and leading sales for Ruckus Network, an online music company in Washington, DC, he most recently helped build Yext, the “next Yellow Pages,” in New York City, where he worked as overall VP of Sales and the President of multiple business units. Ed will discuss the importance of company culture and how you can apply it to motivate your Nourish team.

 

Frank Phoenix, Fenwick Foundation

frank phoenixFrank currently serves as President of the Fenwick Foundation in Chapel Hill, NC, which supports projects that focus on the needs of children and their families in the areas of education, human services and the arts. The foundation works in both North Carolina’s Triangle Area and California’s San Francisco Bay Area, where it serves to support organizations that meet the needs of the disadvantaged by seeking solutions to root problems that prevent children from leading happy, opportunity-filled lives. Prior to his work with the Fenwick Foundation, Frank was the co-owner of Greenbridge Developments. He is very passionate about the environment, cross-cultural understanding, and international development. At the Institute, Frank will lead a big-picture discussion on our role in society.

 

Jeremy Collins, Southern Coalition for Social Justice

???????????????????????????????Jeremy works as a fellow for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting families and communities in struggles against racism and oppression. He focuses primarily on Criminal Justice and Voting Rights advocacy. A native of Dardens, North Carolina, Jeremy earned his undergraduate degree and Juris Doctor from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Prior to law school, Jeremy served as an organizer, campaign director and a lobbyist advocating civil rights and social justice causes. Students will have a chance to chat with him at Career Day!

A Growing National Office!

July 8, 2014 | Posted in Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

As Nourish has continued to expand across the United States and into Canada, we are also expanding in our National Office! This week we are excited to welcome three new team members to our National Office! Juliette Brown, Allison Pulley and Ellen Moore will be joining the Nourish International team as Program Associates. Along with our new team additions, we are thrilled to congratulate former Program Associate, Chancey Rouse, as she takes on the role of Program Director here at the National Office!

While this summer is certainly an exciting one, as we welcome Juliette, Allison, and Ellen into the National Office, it is also bittersweet as we say “good-bye” to current Nourish team members, Sarah Miller Frazer and Becca Holt as they transition into their next big adventures! We are so appreciative of their dedication to Nourish International and the amazing work they have done as part of the National Office. We are excited to see the impact they continue to make on the world.

Meet our new program associates!

IMG_3394Juliette Brown graduated from UCLA in 2014 with a B.S. in Psychobiology. She served as an active member of GlobeMed at UCLA throughout her undergraduate experience. Her involvement with this organization sparked a passion for sustainable global development and the social justice aspect of global health. She served as Director of Community Building during her Junior year, Director of Development during her Senior year, and spent the summer of 2013 working as a GROW (GrassRoots On-site Work) Intern with GlobeMed at UCLA’s partner organization in Uganda. She is eager to continue learning about and contributing to a healthier more productive global world. In her free time, she enjoys most outdoor activities, cooking, eating, working with youth, yoga, meditation, and reading!

 

image (9)Allison Pulley graduated from the University of Southern California in May of 2012 with a BA in International Relations with concentrations in International Development and Global Gender Issues. After graduation, Allison volunteered in Northern Peru developing a Women’s Empowerment program for a local non-profit. She is excited to help Nourish students have a similarly life changing international experience. In her free time, Allison loves hiking, reading, cooking and spending time with friends and family.

 

 

539236_4035040268313_1049056186_n-e1404764094932Ellen Moore graduated from Syracuse University in May 2014 with a B.A. in International Relations and Policy Studies. Her passion for international development took shape as a result of her travels throughout college. She spent a summer volunteering at a nonprofit in Israel, working on fundraising for a women’s economic development program, and studied in South Africa for a semester, where she truly became interested in fostering collaborations with community partners abroad. Ellen was lucky to find Nourish during her junior year and is honored to have spent her senior year as the founding Chapter Leader at SU. In her spare time, Ellen enjoys cooking and spending time with friends and family. She is ecstatic about joining the Nourish team and looks forward to helping the movement grow.

Welcome Summer 2014 Interns

June 6, 2014 | Posted in Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

We are excited to welcome six new interns to our team this summer!

Anna Graves, Events and Outreach

IMG_4031

Anna is a senior at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying geography and religious studies. During her time as an undergraduate student, she has been a mentor for three international students and involved with organizations such as United Students Against Sweatshops. She is excited to work with Nourish International as the summer Events and Outreach Intern and to participate in their movement, which relies on students and education to create sustainable growth and social development both locally and internationally. In her free time she enjoys exploring, the outdoors, drawing, painting, attending concerts and spending time with family and friends.

 

 

 

Jessika Virtanen, Corporate and Foundational Outreach

550559_496980056983777_1692545746_n

Jessika is a rising junior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in economics and global studies. She is interested in the concept of social entrepreneurship and ultimately intends to utilize her economics degree to help impoverished communities implement long-term changes. She is excited to explore nonprofit work this summer by joining the Nourish team as the Corporate and Foundational Outreach Intern. She also works for the North Carolina Scholastic Media Association, an organization which provides resources for high school and college media organizations across the state, is on the Advocacy committee for UNC’s Relay for Life chapter, and has spent time tutoring the children of Burmese immigrants in local elementary schools. Her interests include running, reading and traveling.

 

Carter Spencer, Chapter Support

IMG_1145

Carter is a rising junior at the University of South Carolina. Originally from Charlotte, NC, she heard about Nourish from a friend at the University of North Carolina and hopes to open the very first chapter at USC with her help. This summer, she is seeking to learn more about the Nourish community to learn how to best establish a successful chapter in the future. Carter has been involved with nonprofit work since she was in high school and is very excited about the opportunity to work with a new organization. In her spare time, she loves reading, exploring new areas and laughing with friends.

 

 

 

Anna Long, Public Relations 

302587_10150379429314318_462098958_n

Anna is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying public relations and history. After becoming involved with both journalism and nonprofit work in college, she knew she wanted to channel her writing to make a positive impact in the community. She is passionate about sustainability and hopes to see Nourish’s model of social entrepreneurship and community-based solutions gain national attention. She is excited to join the team as the summer Public Relations Intern, which will allow her the opportunity to help raise awareness for the organization. In her free time, she enjoys reading, going to concerts and spending time at the lake.

 

 

 

 

 

Taylor White, Summer Institute Planning 

1011281_10152060394322075_1998974643_n - Version 3

Taylor is currently a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, double majoring in economics and political science with a minor in history.  After graduation, she hopes to pursue graduate studies in accounting.  She is excited to join the Nourish team this summer as the Summer Institute Planning Intern.  After completing courses dealing with global poverty, she wanted to be a part of an organization that empowers people to make a difference.  On campus, she has been involved with Women’s Club Volleyball, Kappa Delta Sorority, and UNC’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity.  She enjoys reading, exercising, and spending time at the beach.

 

 

Grace Herbener, Administrative Assistant

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Grace is a recent graduate from the Ohio State University with a degree in international development studies and a minor in Spanish.  During her time in college, Grace spent several semesters on the executive board of OSU’s Nourish chapter and also had the opportunity to travel to Cameroon for five weeks to participate in a community development project. She hopes to continue to work in the field of international development and nonprofit work in the future.  In Grace’s free time, she enjoys traveling, dining at new restaurants, and reading.

Nourish Welcomes Promising Board Members

June 5, 2014 | Posted in Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

Nourish International is happy to welcome four talented new members onto its Board of Directors beginning this July. The accepted candidates, Randall Blanco, Anne-Marie Clayton, Frank Phoenix, and Lahoma Romocki, will join a diverse team of experts and donors that provide Nourish with the necessary financial, strategic, and legal support to expand the organization’s impact.

The new members, who will serve until 2016, come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from technology-based careers to program analysis to philanthropic endeavors. This group of experienced individuals will undoubtedly bring a broad range of skills and expertise to the table.

Blanco, who works for Information Management at Duke Health Technology Solution and has a BS in Math and Computer Science, an MS in Computer Science, and an MBA in International Business, has a diverse background in management, planning,  information technology, and database technologies.

ClayAnne-Marie Claytonton, a PhD student and Program Assistant for the Humanitarian Work Psychology Initiative at NC State University, will offer extensive knowledge from her nonprofit background as the Coordinator of Central Valley Book Bank in Fresno County and a founding member of the Global Organisation for Humanitarian Work in Psychology.

 

PhoeFrank Phoenixnix is the President of the Fenwick Foundation and has significant experience in philanthropy, community outreach, grant writing, and nonprofit management. The Fenwick Foundation supports projects that focus on the needs of children and their families in the areas of education, human services and the arts. The foundation supports many great organizations in the triangle including Nourish International.

 

Lahoma Romocki
Lahoma Romocki, an Associate Professor of International Affairs at the North Carolina Central University, will provide expertise in program evaluation, policy analysis, international relations, and proposal writing.

 

Nourish is excited for the contributions these new members will make as the organization continues to expand its network and its impact. The Nourish International Movement recently expanded from 45 to 60 chapters in the US and now reaches over 55,000 people in impoverished communities around the world. With the help of the newly acquired talent, the Board will continue to make invaluable contributions to the mission of ending extreme poverty. Nourish cannot wait to see what this new term brings!

60 Nourish Chapters!  

May 28, 2014 | Posted in Chapter Founders, Chapter Updates, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

We are thrilled to welcome 19 new Chapters to the student movement. Nourish will start the 2014-2015 school year with a total of 60 Chapters ready to engage students and empower communities to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty.

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14 Colleges/Universities Joining the Nourish Network:

Barry University

Boston College

Brandeis University

Butler University

George Washington University

Georgia Tech University

Hillsborough Community College

McGill University

North Carolina State University

Texas Christian University

University of North Carolina – Greensboro

University of Oregon

University of South Carolina

University of Tampa

Whittier College

And for the first time ever 5 High Schools joining the Nourish Network:

Apex High School

Cherry Creek High School

Durham Academy

Grimsley High School

Providence Day School

Want to meet representatives from each of our 60 Chapters? Join us for our Summer Institute Banquet, August 3rd at 6:30pm in Chapel Hill, NC. You won’t want to miss this celebratory event. Learn more here

Family Launches Blackstock Music Festival to Benefit Communities in Poverty and Showcase Carolina Bands, Arts and Culture

May 22, 2014 | Posted in Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

By Emily Fields, Development Coordinator, Nourish International

 

Blackstock Music Festival

May 30-31st, 2014 in Blackstock, SC

40 Bands- 4 stages- Great Cause

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When owner of Blackstock Productions, Joshua Leonhardt, asked his sister and Nourish International Executive Director, Kelly Phoenix, about being a Charity Partner for the first Annual Blackstock Music Festival, the event became not only a convergence of the family passions but an opportunity to raise significant funds for Nourish International’s growth in the fight to impact global poverty by engaging social entrepreneurs. Funds from the festival will help Nourish International grow to 100 campuses and hit $1M in funds invested in community partners by 2017.

 

This year’s Blackstock Music Festival will feature 40 bands, three stages, and attract thousands of concert goers to this two day camping event in the heart of the Carolina’s. Tickets are available at http://www.blackstockmusicfestival.com/ and on etix for $115 in advance and $125 day of. Sponsors of the festival include Jack Daniels, Sweetwater Brewing Company, Verizon Wireless, and Ben Arnold Distribution Company.

 

Joshua Leonhardt, owner of Blackstock Productions, LLC, started the festival on his family farm in 2012. The festival, what began as simply a group of friends hiring local bands to play at fireside chats on the family farm, today, has grown to include 4 stages, 40 local bands, and thousands of people at this year’s Main Event. Joshua, a music aficionado, and Kelly, a social activist, grew up in a family commodity business that included travels to countries ranging from Belize to Turkey. Both saw global poverty first-hand and see the festival as a way to give back to the local economy, elevate music and arts, and generate substantial investment for communities in need.

 

Nourish International’s mission is to engage students and empower communities to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty through social enterprise. Since 2003, Nourish International has grown to become a student movement on 60 campuses and 700 students serving communities in 28 countries with game-changing investments to fight global poverty. To date the organization has invested nearly half a million dollars to implemented over 100 poverty reduction projects in countries ranging from India to Peru.

 

This year’s festival will be held on over 1,000 acres of Leonhardt family owned farmland in Blackstock, SC on May 30-31st. For two days, this picturesque countryside will play home to dozens of local food vendors, great musical talent, live artists, and thousands of guests! Festival-goers will enjoy food trucks serving everything from hummus and smoothies to pizza and burritos. And in between sets from such bands as Galactic, Papadosio, The Revivalists and PineTop Lightning, guests will have the opportunity to take part in a disc golf course and try their hand in the Cornfield at the Corn Hole Tournament. The festival will also play host to a number of craft brewers and a variety of artisan crafts and goods.

 

As if that weren’t enough, Blackstock Music Festival is more than simply about the music experience, it is about giving back as well. Blackstock Music Festival proceeds will benefit Nourish International by helping to open 15 new chapters of the organization in 2014.  The festival will stimulate the local economy in Fairfield County, SC where unemployment was nearly 10% last year, over 20% of residents live below the federal poverty line, and 1 out of every 5 people never get the opportunity to graduate high school. [i]The Leonhardt family hopes the festival will have a local footprint for the Blackstock community in years to come.

 

It’s clear, The Blackstock Music Festival is much more than your typical summer music festival! It is the collaborative effort of North and South Carolina’s musical talent, local live artists, craft vendors, a global charity cause and a family inspired to support one another.

 

To see the official Blackstock Music Festival lineup, purchase tickets, and learn more visit: www.blackstockmusicfestival.com

 

[i] All economic stats on the county of Fairfield, SC taken from US Census Bureau data from 2012. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/45/45039.html

 

 

Nourish Named Co-Host of the Millennium Campus Conference 2014

May 12, 2014 | Posted in Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

This year Nourish International has been selected as a Co-Host for the Millennium Campus Conference.  The MCC is an invite-only conference for student organizations that address global development.  The conference is centered around the UN Millennium Development Goals and how student organizations are working to achieve them.  The conference also gives Millennium Delegates the opportunity to partner with peer organizations, national institutions, and global networks.  It brings together over 2,000 student leaders and over 50 world-renowned speakers all cooperating to accomplish eight goals that will improve the global standard of living.   The conference will take place on the beautiful campus of Lynn University, located in Boca Raton, Florida.

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Students will take part in this amazing collaboration from Friday, October 10th to Sunday, October 12th.  At the conference, students will debate issues, such as serving versus donating, and have the opportunity to network with organizations from around the world at the Change the World Fair.  Furthermore, the conference will include world-renowned speakers, including Nicholas Kristof, Kristin Davis, and Dr. Paul Farmer.  On the last day, students will have their voices heard as the Policy Paper on youth perspectives is presented to experts.  The conference will end with closing ceremonies focused on a roundtable discussion.

 

This conference is a great experience for any student interested in sustainable global development, which is why we are inviting you to attend and join the movement.