I appreciate the workplace culture of EcoWorks because of the connections and learning it provides through the plethora of dialogues, allowing me to connect with different departments, and promoting monthly staff meetings. A prominent theme, particularly in staff meetings, are the wellness checks in the beginning. Last Monday I was invited to be part of the Youth Squad’s meeting, I currently work with the Eco-D department. The Youth Squad works closely with young community members through educational and hands on activities (pre COVID-19). I really appreciate this aspect of EcoWorks as a whole because it showed me the non-profit’s diversity of work. In the beginning of the meeting I was introduced to everyone on the team while learning about their future work. I enjoyed learning about them, why they became leaders, and where their actions are headed. We also talked about our lives outside of the work and hobbies such as claymation, being a plant parent (or just not being able to sustain a single plant), books, and more.
EcoWorks as a whole also works with predominantly low-income to middle-class residents. The intersectionality between affordable sustainability and income/SES is important to understand how we can promote and practice equitable solutions that can connect residents to the proper resources. For example, recently I learned alot from a EcoWorks Lead Workshop, and how Detroit has mostly soil with a lead of about 8 pHs. The Healthy Homes department of EcoWorks, this department is also the one that provides the Lead Workshops, is now offering free testing to Detroit residents and equitable solutions to control the lead poisoning – if present. While we cannot completely abolish and remove all lead completely, we are attempting to provide information and resources to control and decrease the amount of lead present.
An important identity that is present in Detroit is the Black and Latinx identity. With that, there are many intersecting identities but most prominent is SES which is why we offer many resources and informational workshops to advance affordable sustainability. Ecoworks also cultivates a culture of directly engaging with the community. We provide many active roles for residents to be directly involved and to direct what they would like to see. This stands out to me a lot, because I greatly value the mutual relationships between community leaders and organizations, and having the opportunity to intern in an organization that prioritizes such relationships further educates me on how this relationship is sustained and supported.
Every day I learn more about EcoWorks and its multifaceted work. It encourages me to continue to explore a multitude of career paths within the nonprofit sector. I really value the connectedness of the people within EcoWorks and the mutual support and respect, and I hope to find an organization that also shares the same practices.