We are thrilled to introduce our new Community Internship Project (CIP) participants Sonya Underwood and Colleen Higgins.
For Sonya, being a single mother and interacting with social service agencies was a very eye opening experience that left her with a sense of civic responsibility. She believes that at some point we all become responsible and need to play a part in helping to better our communities. The question “if not you, then who?” sparked her interest in the CIP program, as a step in her efforts to do her part.
For Colleen, as someone who speaks on re-entry issues and has also experienced them, her understanding of the barriers faced by formerly incarcerated individuals in housing, employment and discrimination was a part of her reason to join CIP. She describes these hardships as “humbling, maddening, and unfair.” The use of organizing to impact situations like these, plus motivation from another 9to5 member, were enough to interest Colleen in the CIP program.
Colleen and Sonya have deemed themselves to be on a “social justice adventure!” Colleen says that it is no coincidence that she ended up as a part of this program, and believes the skill set and networking with other women she will gain will be beneficial.
Sonya discussed her CIP experience of meeting a variety of women, from all backgrounds, facing different types of oppression, and with many different viewpoints. She says you can’t be a part of these experiences and not grow spiritually and mentally, becoming more aware. She believes the community of women is very powerful.
After one week of the CIP program Sonya and Colleen say they are “on the edge of our seats, looking up, and moving forward!”