2017 Program Dates

UBUNTU: COMMUNITY CULTIVATION PROGRAM | $1,000

Module 1: Tools — March 18th
Module 2: Soil — April 1st, 17th, May 6th, 20th
Module 3: Roots — June 3rd, 17th, July 1st
Module 4: Seeds — July 15th, August 5th, 19th

The program fee covers tuition, resources and materials, and meals.

2017 Applications are now closed. Add your name to the 2018 wait list.

UCCP ONLINE CLASSROOM

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OVERVIEW

Sessions take place twice a month throughout the farm season.

The Ubuntu: Community Cultivation Program is a collaborative program, led by a team of nationally and internationally engaged thinkers, educators, activists, and growers. Classes are held every other weekend throughout the farm season (a total of 12 Saturdays), spread out over 6 months, and are interwoven into our open Community Farm Days. By combining personal and community-development with hands-on, sustainable food sovereignty practice, we deliver a curriculum that provides participants with a unique learning community, where participants work together toward realizing the dream of the “beloved community”.

Bringing together a small group of diverse participants, we will work together to raise awareness of the systems and structures at work around us, while building healthy, restorative relationships with others and dismantling systems of oppression/exclusion. Groundwork, our beginner farm training helps participants connect with others, the land, food, and environment. Class times include lecture, storytelling and discussion, as well as mindfulness and listening/communication exercises. Course work, home practice, independent and group study, as well as optional field trip opportunities are assigned to help foster each individual’s growth as change agents. We offer this in a culturally relevant and supportive environment – to help cultivate a fuller, more interconnected life – strengthening the qualities of compassion, empathy, and human kindness.

Check out our beginner grower Groundwork program to learn more about how we incorporate reconnecting with the land.

BACKGROUND

In the Spring of 2015, The Exchange debuted its Communiversity dialogue series in the form of short lunch-and-learn workshops aimed at addressing multicultural diversity topics. Following its launch, and through a number of other workshops and discussions, we gleaned a multitude of valuable insights. Combining these lessons with further research and study, we came to recognize the need to offer a more in-depth understanding of the historical and structural issues around race and racism, and the intersectional issues of “othering” which impact inequity and injustice. Ultimately this led us to examine the principles of ubuntu…

What is Ubuntu?

“I am what I am because of who we all are.”

  • a quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity
  • a Nguni Bantu term roughly translating to “human kindness”; often translated as “humanity towards others”; frequently used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.”

Michael Onyebuchi Eze, summarizes ubuntu as follows:

“A person is a person through other people’ strikes an affirmation of one’s humanity through recognition of an ‘other’ in his or her uniqueness and difference. It is a demand for a creative intersubjective formation in which the ‘other’ becomes a mirror (but only a mirror) for my subjectivity. This idealism suggests to us that humanity is not embedded in my person solely as an individual; my humanity is co-substantively bestowed upon the other and me. Humanity is a quality we owe to each other. We create each other and need to sustain this otherness creation. And if we belong to each other, we participate in our creations: we are because you are, and since you are, definitely I am. The ‘I am’ is not a rigid subject, but a dynamic self-constitution dependent on this otherness creation of relation and distance.”

Thus, the nature of the Ubuntu: Community Cultivation Program is guided by our commitment to the breaking down of racial, sexual, and economic injustice – and the rights of all people to be treated equitably and develop a place of belonging in a fun, loving, healthy, and sustainable environment. We will ignite the power of our shared stories and collective wisdom, to cultivate diversity and work across lines of difference, providing a safe space for healing dialogue and growth. While this work is hard and sometimes exhausting, requiring difficult but necessary conversations, active, empathetic listening becomes a critical method for our work. We encourage you to stay engaged, hold space, and to respectfully challenge yourself and others as we journey into ubuntu together.

GOALS & OBJECTIVES

The journey toward building an inclusive and equitable community is directly connected to healthy, restorative relationships, the environment in which they exist, and an understanding of the systems, structures, and mechanisms at work around them.

. . . . .

GROW

Make a love ethic the core of all human interaction.

We all fill a unique purpose, one which cannot be fully realized except by being in community together. Community itself means to be in fellowship, having a common or shared sense of unity. Based on love and acceptance, unity, therefore, is an outcome of intentional, collective effort. Within the context of community, we are able to explore what it means to become fully human; beginning with understanding our own lenses and cultural contexts.

By raising self-awareness, we embrace and value others, giving our stories meaning. We will learn to listen without fear of difference of the “other”, uncovering ways in which we are intricately and inextricably connected. We will work together to create spaces that reflect love and respect for all of humanity.

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Cultivate critical and reflective thinking skills
  • Develop a sense of self-awareness through identifying personal values, as well as a leadership vision, mission, style and values
  • Discover and demonstrate appreciation for creative multicultural expressions
  • Exhibit an understanding of and respect for human difference
  • Identify, critique and articulate the impact of personal experience in shaping identity
  • Recognize the interconnectedness of people and society
  • Recognize that leadership and personal growth is a lifelong learning process
  • Understand how to lead with integrity and demonstrate a practice of ethical leadership/fellowship

. . . . .

ENGAGE

“[We choose] love, we also choose to live in community, and that means that we do not have to change by ourselves…we best learn love as the practice of freedom in the context of community.”

Bell Hooks

By developing a knowledge of human differences, an understanding of diversity, and living with an appreciation of those differences, we gain an increased ability to interrelate with others.

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Build meaningful relationships with peers, leaders, and community members
  • Demonstrate an understanding of group dynamics and effective teamwork
  • Develop interpersonal skills, including communication and cooperation
  • Execute a range of effective leadership skills and abilities, including leading change, resolving conflict and guiding intergroup dialogue
  • Exhibit an ability to work effectively with those different from ourselves
  • Implement strategies to help build awareness of multiculturalism and combat isms within community
  • Exhibit knowledge and awareness of diversity around identities, cultures, and society
  • Show empathy for others, especially those different from oneself

. . . . .

TRANSFORM

Stand in love and solidarity with others.

The roots of our present lie deep in the past and hold the seeds for our future. By understanding what has brought us here, we gain the power to influence where we are going. In so doing, we look to our connection to earth, land, food, and place; holding space for our symbiotic healing. We must not shy away from difficult conversations and challenging situations, so as to build relationships and move toward liberation, restoration and healing.

Utilizing common terms and definitions, we will be able to examine how racism and “othering” function as systemic, institutionalized forms of oppression. While helping people locate their stake in the struggle for collective liberation, you will be guided toward uncovering tools to create genuine community transformation.

By the end of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding of related social, political, and environmental issues
  • Develop an awareness of current/ongoing community needs, demonstrating the ability to identify their root causes
  • Define institutional racism and consider its effects on various groups in society
  • Recognize the mechanisms of “othering” and social inequity, practicing targeted inclusion
  • Employ various ways to contribute to social change, articulating a sense of fairness and equity
  • Gain an appreciation of the interconnectedness of art, food, culture and region.

EXPECTATIONS & INTENTIONS

WHO DO WE ENCOURAGE TO ATTEND?
UCCP is designed to be an interactive and restorative educational experience, serving a diverse range of community members of all ages and racial, ethnic, national, and economic backgrounds from urban, suburban and rural environments. This program may be a participant’s first time candidly exploring race-related issues with people of different backgrounds, while others may be those who are actively engaged in the work of dismantling systems of ‘othering’ and exclusion. It is designed to support people and organizations who want to cultivate more impactful relationships for themselves and with others as well as to become positive agents of change. UCCP is ideally suited for, but not limited to public service leaders, student organizers, and social workers, and social justice advocates.

This may include:

  • Parents and caregivers
  • Teenagers/Young adults (college students and mature high school students)
  • Educators
  • Healthcare practitioners, professionals and therapists
  • Executives and managers
  • Spiritual and religious leaders
  • Public service leaders and employees
  • Individual community members seeking to increase awareness and interconnectedness

People living in diverse neighborhoods, along with those working in a wide range of professions and life contexts can benefit from this program. No previous “formal” education or experience is required, although desire and willingness to participate and engage is an important prerequisite for growth.

TIME COMMITMENT
UCCP runs throughout High Hog Farm’s production season, from March – October. The time commitment involves your attendance for:

 

 

 

 

1 Orientation Open House + 11 Saturday Participation (farm/class) Days = 12 Saturdays (approx. 95 instructional hours)

*Optional – A variety of study group sessions, extra-curricular events, and field trips are made available.

CHILDREN
We firmly believe in the power and importance of intergenerational spaces. Young people ages 15+ may apply as adult participants. Children 14 and under are not recommended to enroll in UCCP, but are welcome and encouraged to attend the Farm Day if the following circumstances are met:

 

 

 

 

  • Parent commits to supervising the child at all times, to keep the child safe from danger and to prevent the child from inadvertently damaging crops or property
  • Parent understands that bringing a child will almost certainly mean having to miss out on certain experiences
  • Parent carefully considers whether bringing their child will enhance the experience of UCCP or be a source of frustration. Parent also considers whether the child will be able to be happy and self-manage during UCCP class times. Please call us to discuss your particular situation if that would be helpful.
COURSE WORK
Course work takes place in the days in between class times and will include texts, books, links to articles, a variety of media/video resources, an online group forum, as well as optional field trip opportunities are assigned.

 

 

 

 

We have selected homework assignments for you that are designed to prepare you for and to enrich your class time experiences and to help you understand more about the issues and topics that will be presented. As you will quickly see, it is very difficult to cover the breadth and depth of issues presented during our short UCCP class times. To make the most of your UCCP experience, some interesting, mandatory (100 percent participatory) homework will be assigned for each Farm Day. It may be in the form of a “field trip” or experiential activity or it may be some reading or topical research. To help you plan, a syllabus will be provided at Spring orientation.

By using a combination of media devices, teaching tools/materials, and guided discussion and deliberation, because we are cognizant of the different learning styles, we will explore the dynamic intersections of race and racism in relationship to social, cultural, psychological, and spiritual systems and structures.

EXTRAS & ASSESSMENTS
There is more information about race, racism, “othering”, belonging, and what it means to  become fully, freely human than can possibly be explored here at The Exchange and within UCCP. Therefore, we have also included outside opportunities for you to extend your knowledge and experiences. We will share these with you and hope that you will share those that you are aware of with us.

 

 

 

 

We also understand that while not an indicator of success, certain measurements can help us contextualize certain types of progress. We will offer opportunities for you to benchmark and gauge where you are in the following areas:

  • Intercultural Competency
  • Implicit Bias
  • Microagrressions
  • Organizational Equity Audits (if applicable)
GROUP NORMS, PARTICIPATION, SHARED SPACE COMMITMENT
A commitment of 100% participation in the program and homework assignments is asked of each and every participant. We make every effort to respect your time as well as that of the instructors and other participants, so we will aim to start and end on time. Please feel free to arrive early if necessary, to help you be present, settled and ready to start the day.

 

 

 

 

We will call on everyone during your time here to contribute towards our greater vision. We will be living, learning, and working very closely, and so we ask that you show up with the utmost of intention, awareness and openness. You will be asked to sometimes lead a moment of gratitude at the beginning of a meal, facilitate a reflection, or bring a creative moment of beauty into the day.

We will also build and commit to our own norms for group engagement.

EXCEPTIONS
We fully understand that life happens and there may be an emergency or extenuating circumstance which may arise, preventing you from honoring your 100% participation commitment. Exceptions to the attendance and participation requirements are granted by our team under these extreme circumstances. We want to be sensitive to everyone’s needs outside of this space but also ask that those needs be communicated with us clearly and in advance, since the actions of one affect all.

 

 

 

 

If you must miss any of the scheduled UCCP activities, please contact Keisha Cameron at 404-457-9466, or Warren Cameron at 404-643-9057 as soon as you know you cannot attend, so we can offer support and make adjustments as needed.

MEALS & FELLOWSHIP
Food will be prepared in a culturally relevant, supportive, and joyful environment. The Exchange will provide freshly prepared, locally grown food for those in attendance during Farm Days. We will prepare and serve meals and clean up together as a community as a form of mutual support and effort. Individuals are also encouraged to bring something to pass and share as well as are welcome to bring a bag lunch for themselves, if preferred. Meal preparation is service-oriented, we will share responsibility for cooking and serving meals and cleaning up together, this is a requirement for UCCP participants.

 

 

 

 

We will work to ensure there is always a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free option. If you have additional dietary needs, be sure to communicate them clearly. For certain diets, you may need to bring some of your own ingredients – such as 100% raw, legume-free, paleo- etc.

APPLICATIONS & ENROLLMENT
Scholarship applications are currently being accepted here.

 

 

 

 

The selection team aims to select a diverse group in terms of race, sex, religion, class, and occupation. Our hope is to have a cross section of individuals from across all sectors of society. Individuals may nominate someone or apply themselves. They will then be required to complete a detailed application, which becomes the sole basis for selection. Classes will be limited to 5-8 people each for optimal in-class participation. We recommend you register when registration first opens for the best chance of reserving your place in class. If the class is full, please feel free to register for the waitlist, UCCP staff will contact those who have applied to ensure your interest and alignment with the goals and focus of this program.

FEEDBACK & EVALUATIONS
We want your feedback, it’s essential to our success. Our intent is to gauge the program’s strengths and areas for improvement and adjust to ensure that your experience is impactful as possible. To accomplish this, we provide evaluation forms for you to use to rate various aspects of your experience. We ask that you complete the evaluation process, which consists of written and verbal feedback, to give us more insight into your time here. Open and honest comments and suggestions will serve to influence the program and help it continue to grow, shaping not only your time in the program but also our continuous improvement efforts going forward in future years.

 

 

 

 

You will receive your evaluation form at the beginning of each Farm Day. Please fill it out during the course of the day and give it to a UCCP staff member at the end of each day. You may also receive a survey via e-mail from time to time. Please be sure to fill these out as well. We try to be in touch with alumni at least once per year to learn how your life is unfolding, especially as it relates to land and food. We appreciate your participation in these conversations.