Friday, February 26th –
Fellows started off the day with a fun, silly ice-breaker called, Faces to get everyone laughing and energized. After the ice-breaker, Fellows had the honor of hearing from Jeff Lafata, Kamisha Heriveaux, and Ryan Levia from EPIC Leaders about the important topic of, “Understanding Ableism & Building Inclusion.” MPF has partnered with EPIC Leaders as a trainer for a number of years and we are always impressed! The mission of Empowering People for Inclusive Communities (EPIC), is to prepare young people with disabilities to be actively engaged community leaders through education, leadership development and community service. Fellows were able to take away many important messages and statistics including:
- Ableism is defined as: a system of advantage and discrimination based on ability or perceived ability
- 95% of us will identify as having a disability in our lifetime
- 1 in 5 Americans have some form of disability (seen or unseen)
- People with disabilities are the largest minority group living in poverty today
Fellows participated in a powerful activity where they were able to reflect on their own ideas of ableism and the safe space created by EPIC allowed for Fellows to really open up and be vulnerable.
After the EPIC training, Fellows had lunch and then dove into groups for the second grant review process. Earlier in the week, community members, partners, MPF Alum and more, gathered for the first grant review at Northeastern University and discussed over 50 proposals from host sites who were interested in hosting a Fellow next year. At this time, Fellows were asked to provide feedback in small groups regarding the grants they read prior to the meeting. Fellows reflected on the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal and had a strong voice in the process. Thank you to all who were involved! We really appreciate the time you took to read each proposal and provide your valuable insight on them! Host sites will be notified by March 25th if they got approved to host a Massachusetts Promise Fellow from 2016-2017!
Love in Service,
The Massachusetts Promise Fellowship