March Haverford House Update from Jason Sanchez '18
Hi everyone! This is Jason reporting from the porch of our lovely home here at Haverford House. As the days have started to get a bit longer and the weather warms up, the house has been bustling with activity!
Two weeks ago we kickstarted our Social Justice Film Series by screening All of Me (Llevate Mis Amores), which is a documentary that follows a powerful group of Mexican woman, called Las Patronas, that feed migrants on their way to cross the U.S./Mexico border. After screening the film, we had an impactful conversation with three panelists, each knowledgeable and experienced in working with migrant communities. Professor Veronica Montes is a sociology professor at Bryn Mawr who has researched migrant communities in the United States for many years and has visited Las Patronas in Mexico to get a better understanding of the work they do. Professor Jennifer Hartford-Vargas is an English professor at Bryn Mawr who explores the Latinx identity through film, literature, and the arts. Nicole Bañales is a recent Swarthmore graduate and current Quaker Voluntary Service Fellow that works at Juntos, a non-profit organization fighting for the rights of migrants in Philadelphia. Each one of these amazing folks brought a unique perspective to the film’s underlying message of food as a tool of social justice and healing for communities of color facing trauma. The conversation was further enriched by the diverse connections and experiences of all those who came out. Overall, it was a fantastic event and we are looking forward to planning the next screening.
Haverford House has also thoroughly enjoyed hosting and facilitating discussion groups with the students in the Planetary Health course this semester. We have been reading Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Maree Brown, a book that offers great insights in community organizing and how to become an activist with your everyday actions. Through a number of different activities and prompts, we were able to have lively conversations on how to implement many of these practices into the spaces we occupy at Haverford.
Inspired by Emergent Strategy and the housing work I do at Community Legal Services, I volunteered to join a group of folks this weekend that helped clean the grounds of Bartram's Garden and Bartram Village (the adjacent public housing development). It was so fulfilling to be able to work with my hands and be a part of a team that cared for the wellbeing of both residents and visitors of these communities.
Sabea has also been busy promoting the activist work she has done with Professor Brook Lillehaugen and Dr. Felipe H. Lopez around the Zapotec language. She spoke at the Lynton Colloquium: Voices of Engaged Knowing: Language, Identity, and Engaged Scholarship as a part of the Eastern Region Campus Compact Biennial Conference. Sabea was also invited to speak at the Camra Screening Scholarship Media Festival at Penn! We are super proud of her achievements!
Those are all the updates from Haverford House at the moment! Happy Spring!
- Jason Sanchez '18, Fellow at Community Legal Services