Student Forums
A journal of social practice & professional engagement for the Antioch community

Living Sustainably and Cooperatively: Wragg ’19 at Arthur Morgan Institute Community Solutions in Yellow Springs, Ohio

We envision a world where people live sustainably and cooperatively in smaller communities which are diverse, equitable, and just. Today we focus on research and education on living sustainably with emphasis on reducing and changing energy consumption in the context of community to facilitate the change. Our five points of focus are Resilient Communities working together to remain viable in the modern world, Regenerative Agriculture/Land Use to take better care of the environment and prevent desertification, Energy Democracy rather than dependence on large companies, Restorative Economics to keep local prices down in the ever changing market, and Being-The Change that promotes all of these practices by attempting to follow them ourselves.

As a member of the team my main jobs are editing and sorting through our donor and customer database to help facilitate efficient mailings and determine the prospective and active members from the unlikely and very old accounts. Another major aspect of my job is updating our (Facebook) and (Website) calendars with new events, which I encourage everyone to like and visit. Currently I am cataloging the library, and have written and distributed one survey concerning car sharing (distinct from car pooling) on Earth Day at our booth. I plan on writing more surveys in the near future concerning other topics that could reduce the carbon footprint of Yellow Springs. Although my schedule outside of work does not usually let me go to our local events, I am also invited to attend these events for more hours, so long as I take notes on the number and diversity of the people attending and the details of the events. A few weeks ago I went on a tour of the Rumpke Landfill and Recycling Center in Cincinnati with a coworker and several Yellow Springs community members. I encourage all Yellow Springs community members as well as visitors to come to workshops, movies, and especially our 2016 Conference in October.

Typically I clock in at 9AM and start my day with a few hours of database editing. Sometime between 11:30 and 12:30 I have my half hour lunch which I usually spend at the office continuing to edit, but can spend going out to a local place. At least once a week, usually on Fridays, the whole office has lunch together to discuss our progress on our various tasks and how we are doing in general. After lunch I usually move my work into the library/conference room where I catalog books in alphabetical order by author. Occasionally one of my supervisors or coworkers will give me additional tasks such as going down to the post office to send mailings or adding events to the calendars. I generally clock out at 5PM unless something keeps me overtime or I bring some work home (usually survey writing/editing).

As far as impact is concerned I must say my role is just a small part of the many ways Community Solutions interacts with and attempts to better the community. The two most direct ways in which I affect the community are in forming surveys that inform people about important environmental topics and in attending events that are hosted by our affiliates and us.

Although I cannot say that the next wave of Miller Fellow student jobs will probably look almost nothing like Scott Montgomery or my current jobs as we are still in the process of building a good foundation for the inner workings of the website and database, but will surely be important roles in the organization and community. I certainly recommend co-oping for Community Solutions for the great people and direct positive impact on the world.

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