ERWG Workshop #4: We Lead & Inspire

On Tuesday, March 26, the CLEO Institute hosted its fourth and final workshop in the Allapattah edition of its 2019 Empowering Resilient Women and Girls.

Held at the YMCA, the workshop was titled “We Lead & Inspire” and provided attendees examples of women being changemakers in the community in the art and climate change sector.

After a brief Climate 101 recap by Olivia Collins, CLEO’s Director of Programs, the workshop started with a presentation by Sarah Michelle Rupert, Interim Executive Director AIRIE, a nonprofit organization that specializes in bringing together art, science, and education to promote Everglades conservation. She talked about the artists in residence but also talked about the art that is on display at the Nest Gallery, which is free of charge to visitors. Each artists work brings special attention to conservation issues in the Everglades.

After a brief demonstration by Amanda Kovach, Curator of Education at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, the participants were able to make their own seed paper. This activity encouraged women to express their creativity and learn a paper-making process. The seeds used to make the paper included Florida native species like amaranth and echinacea. The women were able to take their creations home and were encouraged to plant the paper after using.

Following the seed paper segment, the attendees received free hurricane kits which included an emergency flashlight, hand sanitizer, a stainless-steel water bottle, disposable dust masks, a manual can opener, a solar puff, a first aid kit and a reusable grocery bag. The CLEO Institute provided an overview of each item inside the kit and explained how to use them. These kits are important to these women because they provide a solid foundation from which to build their household emergency kits.

Overall, the women expressed much enthusiasm and curiosity over the solar puffs, small cube-shaped lights that are activated with solar energy. They also asked questions about CLEO’s upcoming Empowering Capable Climate Communicators Symposium, an event to which ERWG attendees receive a discount. In closing the event, some women shared testimonials about how this program series improved their climate literacy, inspired them to get civically engaged, and motivated them to share this information with other people.

The CLEO Institute thanks all the women who attended the program, as well as all the speakers and partners that made this series successful. The next cohort of the ERWG program will take place during May 2019 in Overtown.

2019, Q1Natalia OrtizYMCA