I started out this week with an “All Hands Meeting” that is held every first Tuesday of the month with all the Watershed, Air, Fish & Rare Plants staff. I really enjoy participating in meetings with the rest of the staff because everyone is very welcoming and it is a great opportunity for me to learn how to be a team member. Most of the week my supervisor and I are working on setting up and getting ready for an International Migratory Bird Day webinar that we are putting together which Sue Bonfield, Director of Environment for the Americas, will be presenting to different federal agencies among others. Later on in the week I met with a community organizer who shared a lot of good information about strategies to reach out to other Latino communities besides the one in which I live. We exchanged a lot of ideas and I was really excited to see that he was interested in helping me reach out to community members. I continue working closely with the interns over at the Smithsonian bird conservation and the National Park Service on coordinating Latino media outreach.
Although we still have a month or so to promote our IMBD 2013 Festival, time goes by quickly and because of that I suggested to start working as fast as we can when it comes to reaching out to the Latino media. With that in mind, I suggested for us to start spreading the word at the April 10th Immigration Rally which will take place in front of the US Capitol. Everyone agreed and we will be handing out flyers with the rest of the interns to have a presence in the event. I am really excited to be doing this because if we want Latinos to know about our festival this is the place to be!
On Thursday I attended the 2013 Environmental Justice Conference & Training Program as a US Forest Service guest. I was only able to attend once session because unfortunately I got lost and wasted a lot of time looking for the Marriott Hotel in down town DC, but I’m glad I made it because I really enjoyed being there. This conference was a lot different from the one I attended last week, because in this one I saw WAY MORE diversity not only in ages but also in race. It made me very happy to see a lot of high schoolers participate in this conference. The meeting I attended was titled “Intergenerational Collaboration: Sharing the Knowledge and Understanding of Environmental Justice”. During this interactive session we had the opportunity to hear about models of organizations that have engaged young people. We also heard from young people about their aspirations for the future of environmental justice. I would have loved to stay and enjoy this wonderful conference, but unfortunately time is our most scarce resource and I had to leave to attend my evening classes.
If I have learned something in these past three weeks, it is that everyday is a different challenge and a different adventure. What I love about this experience is that while I am learning a great deal, I am also having a lot of fun working with the rest of the staff either at the Forest Service or with the other interns at the National Park Service.