As a part of Project SERVE, we participate in a weekly Community Night. This is a time for the seven of us to spend quality time getting to know each other by discussing social justice, or just hanging out. Each week, a different member of our community plans the night’s activities; we have done things like play ‘Minute to Win It’ games, write poetry, and make Christmas ornaments. Naturally, the activities vary depending on the interests of the organizer. This past Sunday we had a particularly interesting Community Night discussion, when the topic we chose was poverty in the world and, more specifically, in Baltimore City.

One of my housemates introduced us to the philosophical concept of Functionalism, and we looked at how the parts of society depend on each other for society to be whole and work well together. Later, we considered poverty in Baltimore, trying to put the issue into perspective and discussing how it directly affects many of the people we work with every day. The time we spent together and the conversations we had left me with a sense of hope and excitement. I was glad, and I am glad, that in Project SERVE we can sit down and have these sorts of tough conversations. This community night was an opportunity for all of us to sit back and think about what we do and why we do it. We were able to learn and grow as a community because we have the time and the space to talk about the issues that affect us and affect our clients on a daily basis. At the end of our community time, we all sat together and wrote letters to our state legislators. In this way, I feel that we really made a community effort to “be the change” we want to see.