Photo: Community Action Gateway students listen to a virtual presentation from Mabel Silva ’20 about her experiences conducting research in Hartford and mentors Tiana Starks ’21 and Reagan Flynn ’23 put together care packages for the cohort.
This semester 14 students in Trinity College’s Community Action Gateway are getting an entirely new introduction to Hartford as they jump into remote community partnerships. Under normal circumstances, students would be encouraged to explore the city by attending local events and community meetings, going to arts and cultural institutions, going out to local coffee shops and restaurants, and more. We would also assign them a video project where they would work in small groups to create a 1-minute video with a Hartford community organization working for social change.
This semester, we have transitioned to a remote offering of the Fall course “Envisioning Social Change” and Professor Stefanie Wong has reimagined the assignments so that students can work remotely and while still having the opportunity to explore the ways that social change happens in Hartford.
One of the most important components of the Community Action Gateway is to help students understand the multiple ways that social change is happening in the city. To encourage students to engage with Hartford even in a remote context, their first assignment was to take a look at our Hartford and Trinity Events Padlet board, attend a virtual event and write a reflection about the experience.
For their larger semester-long assignment that was previously a video project, students this semester will create social media content for five Hartford area community partners:
Moral Monday CT – Essence Smith ’24, Caroline Frederick ’24, and Kash Jain ’24
Blue Ribbon Strategies #UnlocktheVote – Sabrina Clumeck ’24 and Alicia Anchondo ’24
CT Coalition to End Homelessness – Xavier Mercado ’24, Aarti Lamberg ’24 and Tara Iyer ’24
Hartford Votes/Hartford Vota Coalition – Sam Burg ’24, Sophia Sniffin ’24, and Ally Macht ’24
YWCA Sexual Assault Crisis Services – Claire Sabbe ’24, Abby Nick ’24, and Olivia Domingos ’24
Partners from each organization joined the students for a virtual meet and greet event on September 17th on Zoom and students will begin interviewing them next week to prepare for creating 6 social media posts. To help students create high quality content, we put together a short workshop on “Communications and Graphic Design Projects for Community Partners” with Director of Community Learning Erica Crowley and Instructional Technologist Dave Tatem. Anyone can view and share this resource at bit.ly/CLCommsProjects.
Even during one of the most challenging semesters, we are so impressed with this cohort’s passion and dedication to create useful communications products for community partners while learning more broadly about the multiple ways social change is happening in Hartford during the pandemic. To learn more about the Community Action Gateway you can view our past blog posts here.