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Repair the World Atlanta to Connect Young Adults With Opportunities for Meaningful and Authentic Service

For Immediate Release

Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish Family & Career Services Atlanta, Hands On Atlanta, and others will Partner with Repair the World Atlanta to Offer Opportunities to Create Social Impact Locally Infused with Jewish Values

Atlanta, GA – Atlanta’s community of young adults soon will have new opportunities to address key social issues and urgent community needs through meaningful service with a Jewish lens through nationally renowned Repair the World’s new Atlanta hub.  Repair the World—the only organization devoted exclusively to engaging Jewish young adults in service—is partnering with Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, Jewish Family & Careers Services, and Hands On Atlanta to help launch Repair the World Atlanta in fall 2018.

“We’re excited by the warm invitation and welcome we’ve from Atlanta’s powerful volunteer and nonprofit sectors, and the leading organizations of the Jewish community,” said David Eisner, President & CEO of Repair the World. “Atlanta is rich with organizations with whom Repair the World Atlanta is eager to partner so that we can galvanize thousands of young Jewish adults to expand these partners’ capacity to achieve their mission and to accelerate local progress toward social equity in their communities.”   

Eisner announced that Lily Brent has been appointed the first Director of Repair the World Atlanta. “An organization that is engaging young adults at scale in deep and nuanced partnerships with organizations already doing exceptional work requires a unique leader, one  with insight into the passions of young adults, with strong connections to social equity work in Atlanta, and with the ability to forge many deep partnerships across the community.  Lily Brent has exactly that kind of leadership along with a unique background and experience creating the conditions for youth to reach their full potential in the US and abroad. It’s a delight to be following her lead as we launch this essential program in Atlanta.”

“As the founding Director for Repair the World Atlanta, I am thrilled to join other young adults in critical self-reflection, learning, volunteering with community partners, and strengthening alliances among diverse communities,” said Lily Brent, Director. “Atlanta’s history calls us to be bold as we grapple with the inequity.  Bringing together local nonprofits and committed young people, I know that Repair the World Atlanta will make a unique contribution.”

Lily will be joined by Site Development Fellow Rachel Bukowitz in leading a year of relationship building and programming, ranging from volunteer opportunities focusing on food and education justice, to Repair’s classic Turn the Tables Shabbat dinners and Cocktails with a Conscience series where conversations are opened up between community members about social issues, activism, and action. Repair the World Atlanta will bring together Repair’s proven programming with Lily’s skillset and Atlanta’s great nonprofits and community spirit.

“We are thrilled to be an early partner of Repair the World Atlanta,” says Jay Cranman, CEO of Hands On Atlanta.  “Together, we will engage even more young people who are committed to creating positive change in our community. This is an exciting moment for our city.”

“We are so excited to welcome Repair the World to Atlanta,” says Eric M. Robbins, President & CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. “Our Atlanta Jewish community has a long history of service and we are honored to be the home to the national service movement in the Points of Light Foundation. With Repair the World’s proven model and track record in other communities, we know it will thrive here in Atlanta and provide a way for millennials to engage in service that matters in a way that aligns with our Jewish values.”

Repair the World Atlanta will join its sister Repair the World Communities programs in Baltimore, Brooklyn, Detroit, Harlem, Miami, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, bringing a unique combination of peer-to-peer engagement, educational programs and community-based service opportunities to thousands of young Jewish adults and their friends.  

About Our Team – Repair the World Atlanta

Lily Brent (Director) is a writer and social worker whose curiosity and commitment to service catalyzed a career in international development spanning six countries over the last eight years. Her search for the nuanced, everyday work of community-led social justice has brought her to Repair the World. In her previous professional experience, she  provided psychosocial support to adolescents in such diverse settings as a New York City public school and outpatient psychiatric clinic, a D.C. mentoring program for kids in foster care, and the Agahozo Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda. She has worked on adolescent sexual & reproductive health & rights in Niger and Bangladesh, and ensuring that women and youth can access the benefits of development projects in Benin, Mongolia, and Nepal. Lily also spent three years working to reform criminal justice policy and practice in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Virginia.

 

Rachel Bukowitz (Site Development Fellow) studied Environmental Studies and Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. During her undergraduate studies she worked with a local nonprofit, The Homewood Children’s Village, to develop a 33-page “Healthy Food and Gardening Guide” for Homewood residents. Homewood is a neighborhood in Pittsburgh without a grocery store, so the guide served to highlight alternative options for accessing healthy, affordable food including community gardens, food banks, farm stands, farmers markets, and more. After graduating from Pitt, Rachel served as a Food Justice Fellow with Repair the World Pittsburgh. In her Fellowship, Rachel worked with 412 Food Rescue, Just Harvest, and Circles Greater Pittsburgh around issues of food advocacy and poverty. She dedicated herself to service and deeply learning about the systemic root causes of poverty and hunger.

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Flying into the 21st Century

This article originally appeared on eJewish Philanthropy on August 24, 2018.

By Eric M. Robbins

In a recent article, Talk is Cheap, several challenges facing Federations today are brought to the forefront. These include operating inefficiencies, partisanship, shifting giving trends and affiliation rates – just to name a few. The author correctly identified all of these challenges, and further pointed out that they have been building up over years, but he makes one critical omission: Federations across North America are changing to meet these challenges and they are finding unique ways to support the communities they serve. Just look at Atlanta. We have spent the last year in Atlanta rallying the community to tackle these exact issues.

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Passion Shines Bright

I was honored to be invited to serve on the Repair The World (Repair) Delegation.  As the manager of Community Partnerships for the Miami chapter of Common Threads, a national non-profit, I interacted with  Repair – Miami as the organization explored partnership opportunities for their incoming fellows. I attended the Service Unites Conference as a member of the Repair Delegation because of  the opportunity to convene in the historic city of Atlanta with people from all over the country who are actively engaged and committed to service and volunteerism to create positive change in their community and the world.  As a chosen member of the 40+ person team, I was joined by people from different parts of the country and was one of the few non-Jewish, and only African-American delegate, I brought that perspective with me to all the activities and conversations and I fully embraced the opportunity to learn about the rich Jewish culture and religion.

Although I have worked in the non-profit sector for the past eight years, I had never participated in a conference with the scope or size as Service Unites.  Being with over 2,200 people who were passionate about various causes was a powerful reminder that I am not alone, and I felt a sense of community and connection amongst strangers.  The lessons that were reinforced to me over the three-day conference were:

  1. The importance of diversity.
  2. Passion as a catalyst for change.  

The Opening Plenary was held in the historic Fox Theater was my top highlight of the week and did an excellent job of setting energy and tone for the days to come.  The themes discussed were water, youth, and women. The presenters represented a diverse range of colors, religions, ages, ethnic backgrounds, economic status, and impact capacity. Although the content was varied, the passion that each of the speakers and panelists brought was palpable, giving me goosebumps and at times moving me to tears. Through all these differences, the commonality was that each person was driven and inspired to create change through the means, resources, and talents they had available to them – they all lived passion and purpose driven lives. They were each a powerful example of living and serving others and inspiring people to join them in being part of that change. My favorite presentation was the spoken word poem that was performed by Storytelling Activist Amal Kassir. She used her Muslim-American culture and religion as a backdrop to express her experience of inequities as of late in this country through recent policies and procedures that have been put into place and create separation and disconnection among her people in this country.  

The display of passion and emotion was beautifully demonstrated many times in the heartfelt and emotional addresses that Chairman of the Points of Light Board, Neil Bush, shared during the Opening Plenary and the Closing Ceremony. He shared openly and vulnerably about his parents, Former First Lady Barbara Bush and Former President George W. H. Bush, and the lessons that he learned from them about being in service to support others in the best and worst of times.  He gave a teary-eyed reflection about the importance of being accountable to each other and ourselves for the progress and state of the world and communities that we live in. I was fortunate to meet Neil in the hallway in between sessions and I thanked him for being open, vulnerable, and authentic with his words and emotions. I told him that it is my personal belief that when we each show up authentically and allow ourselves to be seen, we become a mirror for others to see themselves too.  It humanizes us. It allows compassion to flow freely. It creates connection, and as my mentor, Founder of the Connection Coalition, Terri Cooper Space says, “Connection is the cure.” I believe that what we need more of is to give each other permission to shine our lights and illuminate the world in a significant and much needed way.

Throughout the weekend, Neil presented two people, actor Jesse Williams and NBA player Dwight Howard, with the Point of Light honor.  Over 6,000 of these awards have been presented over the years. While it was special to see this honor given to them for their important work and dedication, what really stood out to me was that everyone in the room is truly a point of light, and in those three days we all came together to grow, share, learn, and inspire each other to continue to shine through service and volunteerism.  We did this by celebrating and embracing our diversity, living with passion for the causes and issues that we care about and affect us, and believing that a small difference is actually a big difference.

I felt that the Service Unites Conference gave me permission and access to resources to shine my light and be bright!  

Shanté Haymore-Kearney is a champion for community empowerment, health, and wellness. Shante’ has a diverse professional work portfolio which includes over seven years as a marketing and community relations strategist within various business sectors including, national non-profits, international sports organizations, and corporate retailers.

Her dedication to creating positive change and personal empowerment is evident through her personal endeavors as well. She has been a certified yoga teacher since 2011. She founded a wellness company, Inner Inspiration, that teaches “Tools for Mindful Living.”  She has guided hundreds of people to connect with their inner peace and personal power through yoga, meditation, vision boards, prayer, and mindfulness in classes, workshops, retreats, and online content. Shanté has been a member of the service teams of Miami­-based non­profits Unity on the Bay, Connection Coalition (fka Yoga Gangsters), and Gratitude Training Leadership Program.

Haymore-Kearney received her degree in Business Administration from Florida A&M University and her Masters of Sports Administration from Northwestern University.  One of her proudest accomplishments was as an NCAA Division I Volleyball student-athlete when she was named Conference Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001. Shante’ balances her work life, yoga, and meditation teaching, along with being a mom to a 2-year-old and a wife.  She currently resides in her hometown of Miami, FL but is planning to relocate to Atlanta, GA to start a new chapter for her and her family.

Facebook & Instagram: @inspirationbyshante

 

Atlanta Opens Arms to Repairing Our World

This article originally appeared in The Atlanta Jewish Times on June 28, 2018.

By Sarah Moosazadeh

Jewish values, a strong identity and affinity toward service are traits Repair the World aims to promote among Jews. The nonprofit hopes to expand that viewpoint this summer by launching its eighth community in Atlanta.

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